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What should temps know about the Affordable Care Act?

What should temps know about the Affordable Care Act?

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By Outside-In® Team Member, Lisa Turner

Due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations that all full time workers (at qualifying employers) be offered health benefits, temporary workers are increasingly likely to have the option of employer provided coverage. In the past, it was not unheard of for temporary workers to be offered a benefit plan — but the plans were typically very limited with high premiums and low, if any, employer contribution.

This is a great development for workers that are on longer term temporary assignments because they now have access to healthcare benefits. However, it does cause complications for employers that were not previously providing coverage and for the insurance companies who need to accommodate a different type of workforce that shifts more rapidly that what is typical.

Staffing firms that employ a temporary workforce, like Outside-In® Companies, are challenged with finding plans that are compliant with ACA regulations while still being affordable to temporary employees. In the past, one way to make coverage more affordable was to limit hospitalization benefits under the plan. The ACA has stated the plans that limit major coverage (including hospitalization) are not considered compliant coverage for an employer. Employers may still offer that type of coverage, but they will be subject to penalties for doing so.

As an employee, if you don’t carry coverage, the penalties are increasing this year. The individual penalties for not having coverage in 2015 are (you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts):

  • 2% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,150 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a Bronze plan.
  • $325 per person for the year ($162.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $975.

After this year, the penalties will increase again if you do not have healthcare coverage. For more information on the penalties for not maintaining healthcare coverage, visit Healthcare.gov.

Note to employers: Check out my blog from a few weeks ago for more helpful tips about the Affordable Care Act: Employers, Are You Ignoring the Affordable Care Act?

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