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Companies with Employer-Sponsored Health Plans Must Still Notify Employees of Exchanges

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Many U.S. employers offer health insurance coverage to their employees and have been doing so long before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in March of 2010. However, these employers may still be impacted by ACA regulations including the requirement to notify employees of health insurance exchanges regardless of the quality of their own employer-sponsored health plans.

New guidance on exchange notifications required by the ACA has recently been issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) in Technical Release 2013-02.

Beginning October 1, 2013, employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will be required to provide each employee a written notice informing them of their health coverage alternatives offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the exchange. Employees must be notified within 14 days of the time of hiring, and current employees must be notified no later than October 1, 2013.

The DOL has provided model language for the notification on their website at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/. There is a model notice for employers who offer health insurance and a different model notice for those who do not offer health insurance coverage.

The Marketplace is designed to help employees find health insurance that meets their needs and fits their budget with one-stop shopping for finding and comparing private health insurance options. If their employer-sponsored coverage does not meet minimum requirements as set forth by the ACA, they may be eligible for a tax credit that would help them save money on their health insurance premiums through the Marketplace.

Employers who have employees who qualify for a tax credit to buy coverage through the Marketplace could be subject to penalties. Watch for our upcoming ACA blog post on “ACA Penalties: Insurance Inadequacies Can Cost You”  and signup for our webinar – Think Your Business is ACA Compliant? – to learn more.

The content of this blog is intended to keep interested parties informed of legal and industry developments for educational purposes only.  It is not intended as legal opinion or tax advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for legal or tax advice.

Author Bio: Newman Wells is a writer, designer and entrepreneur with over 20 years of corporate marketing experience. Passionate about B2B marketing, Newman Wells specializes in helping businesses define their value propositions by simplifying technical jargon for easier-to-digest messages that drive sales. She has spent the last two decades building successful marketing departments from the ground up and has been Paycom's director of marketing since 2005.

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New PBJ Reporting Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities

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The latest in the Affordable Care Act (Section 6106) compliance is payroll-based journal (PBJ) reporting, affecting nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

What is it?

PBJ reporting will require staffing information to be collected on a more consistent basis than is currently, and also will be auditable to ensure accuracy. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has been voluntarily collecting this data since October, but beginning in July it will be mandatory.

The requirements place more burden on the employer for detail on daily staff hours by position, by shift and by location, as well as monthly patient census. Census data includes the facility’s patient head count on the last day of each of the three months in a quarter.

This data can then be used to report on the level of staff in each nursing facility, but also to report on turnover and tenure, which can impact the quality of care delivered.

How will it be collected?

Every quarter, data will be collected. Submissions are due by the end of the 45th calendar day after the last day in each fiscal quarter to be considered timely starting July 1, 2016. Late submissions will be accepted, but are subject to enforcement actions by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and may not be used to calculate a facility’s staffing measures.

Submission methods

Hosted by CMS, the PBJ system will accept two primary submission methods:

  1. manual entry or
  2. an XML file upload of data from an automated payroll or time and attendance system.

Manual data entry will require individuals to key information into the PBJ user system. However, for those currently using an automated payroll and time and attendance system, information already is readily available, but must be uploaded following specific guidelines outlined here.

Stay tuned for more information and resources about the PBJ reporting requirements right here on the Paycom Blog.



by Brie Hobbs

Author Bio: For more than eight years, Brie has been writing to both job seekers and business leaders about human resources and the challenges facing today’s workforce. Her articles have appeared on award-winning career and HR blogs, as well as on the International Franchise Association’s SmartBrief and other notable publications. With a background in franchising, Brie focuses on helping franchise organizations understand how Paycom’s human capital management technology can benefit their business.

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Choosing the Right HCM Software Provider Is Essential to ACA Compliance

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The complex nature of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is well documented, and for good reason. The criteria for applicable large employers (ALEs) contain a sea of intricacies, which are tough to keep up with. It’s no wonder, then, that so many employers rely on payroll providers to assist them with their ACA duties.

But not all human capital management (HCM) providers are equipped to handle ACA challenges, and it’s no consolation that the ACA does not hold third parties accountable for mistakes.

So what’s an employer to do?

Consider choosing an HCM provider that offers the educational, monitoring, evaluation and reporting tools needed for compliance.

Teach You the Ropes

As an ALE, you’re subject to the ACA’s employer shared responsibility (ESR) provisions. Your HCM provider should help you understand your responsibilities, which include:

  • identifying all full-time employees, including full-time equivalents, as defined by federal law;
  • providing the IRS with detailed information on full-time employees;
  • determining the type of coverage offered to full-time workers;
  • monitoring employment changes that may cause you to have 50 or more full-time employees, which would subject you to the ESR; and
  • evaluating your group coverage to ensure it meets ACA standards.

Your provider should explain key aspects of the ACA in plain language and provide you with ongoing legislative updates.

Alert You of Critical Occurrences

Chances are, you’ve got a full schedule, which makes monitoring the issues affecting compliance a burden. Still, it’s a necessary task, which can be simplified by an ACA dashboard that:

  • tells you when you’re reaching ALE status;
  • alerts you when full-time and part-time employees are nearing full-time status; and
  • notifies you when employees’ look-back measurement periods are ending.

Above all, alerts and notifications give you timely information and the ability to better manage hours of service for your employees.

Assess Historical and Current Data

At the heart of ACA noncompliance, you’ll likely find errors that could have been avoided through careful data analysis.

For example, employees must be properly categorized as full-time, part-time or seasonal. In addition, accuracy of hours worked is important to determining ALE status, which employees are full-time, and the end-of-year reporting process. Mistakes in these areas can be caught and corrected beforehand through periodic data reviews.

An enhanced evaluation tool lets you access audit trails of historical data, plus review current ACA information. These reports are crucial to regulatory compliance and can help you fulfill your reporting requirements. Evaluation also gives you actionable insights into your responsibilities as an employer.

Reporting That Satisfies IRS Criteria

ALEs must report the total annual cost of their employer-sponsored group health coverage on employees’ W-2, provide employees with a statement of coverage, and report to the IRS through Forms 1094/1095 –B or –C.

The information provided on these forms needs to be correct because the IRS uses it to determine whether:

  • an employee qualifies for premium tax credits;
  • you’re complying with the “pay or play” mandate; and
  • individuals have the minimum essential coverage.

Considering the extensive scope of ACA reporting, a payroll system that facilitates the following is of paramount importance:

  • employment status changes,
  • coverage affordability and other qualifying factors,
  • trends in employee hours and ALE status, and
  • minimum value and “pay or play” calculations.

In the end, the right payroll provider has a simple goal: to relieve you of your worries by mitigating compliance risks, including those associated with the ACA.

Author Bio: Barclay has over 20 years of experience working as a consultant. He has worked in the consulting practices of accounting firms Ernst & Young and Causey Demgen & Moore. Barclay joined Paycom in 2011 and is currently a Tax Research Analyst. Robbie is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.


5 Ways HR Can Make Your Company Better

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Human resources. For a lot of people, those two words conjure countless thoughts of W-2s, compliance procedures and news about insurance benefits.

And paperwork – lots and lots of paperwork.

But if your HR department only hires, fires and fills out forms, then you’re not allowing it to be all it can be. There’s a new generation of HR professionals who, with the right tools, can bring value to your employees and your bottom line.

Let’s look at five ways your HR department can make your company better.

  1. HR can empower employees. Once upon a time, HR was a bad word around the water cooler, but not anymore. HR can boost morale and drive culture in a holistic way among employees across multiple teams. Cast vision to your HR team members that “we will be a friendly company” or “we will be a company full of go-getters,” and they can champion that culture in every piece of employee-facing communication.
  2. HR can make learning fun again. Equipped with the right learning management systems, an HR team can take mandatory, boring content and turn it into interesting, easy-to-digest training programs. Hold trainings online, incorporate quizzes and other interactive elements, and weave in a cat video or two, and you’ll have a training program that employees actually will want to work through.
  3. HR can eliminate wasted man-hours. With the right tools, HR can streamline simple interactions among employees and give them a sense of independence by giving them control of certain aspects of their jobs. For example, when your HR team sets up employee self-service tools, employees will be able to see their own vacation status and request PTO without having to check in with (or waste time of) six different people.
  4. HR can streamline business processes. Your employees know more about their jobs than you do, so ask them what they think. Let your HR team survey your employees, assess blind spots and inconsistencies, and identify bigger, better, faster ways to do business. Getting honest feedback is the best way not only to improve your processes, but also let your employees know they have a voice.
  5. HR can help you make smarter salary decisions. Bring HR into the salary game. Rather than relying solely on managers’ opinions or blanket percentage-based raises, you can equip your HR team to facilitate performance reviews and standardize compensation across the company. With focused job descriptions, well-thought-out reviews and clearly defined goals, you’ll be giving raises to those employees who are truly bringing value to the company.


Your HR team is full of people-persons. They love working with people: hiring, onboarding, teaching, helping, equipping and guiding employees to maximize their potential in your company. Allow your HR team to explore new tools and practices that will help them improve morale, culture and the bottom line.

Author Bio: As a Human Resource Professional with over 20 years of experience, Jenny has extensive experience in management, mentoring, policy development and recruiting. Jenny's team player mentality and leadership abilities make her an elite HR Director who is always on top of the latest HR trends. She relentlessly directs associates and executives to achieve their maximum potential for both themselves and their companies.

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