Note to Employers and Group Health Plan Sponsors - Take a Post-election Deep Breath
Throughout the past twelve to eighteen months, the American public has been hearing about the actions different presidential candidates would take with regards to health insurance (i.e., Obamacare), minimum wages and various other labor, employment and employee benefits matters. Today, Donald Trump is officially our new President-Elect. This raises an important question — what should employers be considering today related to such employee benefit matters? First, we recommend that employers take a deep breath and not rush out to take immediate action on their benefit plans. While President-Elect Trump has stated that he plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we all should acknowledge that such a change is far from simple, and it might take some time before changes are made. In the meantime, employers should continue on the compliance course they have been on and address the ACA compliance issues that must be taken care of in the near term. This includes the following items:
• Preparing for Transitional Reinsurance Fees
• Consideration of the impact of the ACA Section 1557 nondiscrimination rules
• Proper reporting of health insurance coverage on employees Forms W-2
• Form 1094/1095 reporting of the offer of and actual coverage for purposes of the ACA employer mandate
Ultimately, it is highly likely that we will see changes to the ACA and action will be required. Employers have the obligation of meeting the terms of the ACA in the short-term. In the long-term, employers should be considering new plan strategies as guidance becomes available pending the outcomes from Congress.
In addition to the ACA, questions have arisen relating to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) changes that are scheduled to become effective December 1, 2016. While there are current pieces of litigation that could impact these new rules and President-Elect Trump may push for changes to these requirements, employers should continue in their efforts to be ready to comply with these rules as of December 1.
Findley Davies will monitor any and all legal developments related to these changes, and will be proactive in communicating such developments to you when they happen.