During the Health Care Road Show, the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) and UnitedHealthcare introduced the Restaurant Health Care Alliance in Louisiana, which offers a suite of health benefit products that will help nearly 200,000 Louisiana restaurant and hospitality employees gain easier access to cost-effective health care coverage and related products and Services.
National Restaurant Association VP of Health and Insurance Services Randy Spicer, UnitedHealthcare Strategic Initiatives Sr. Director Kimberlee Vandervoorn and LRA VP of Communications Wendy Waren found that there were several important areas of the ACA that members needed a little more assistance with in terms of understanding the spirit of the law.
Here are the top 6 misconceptions with the ACA.
I don’t have 50 Full Time Employees so ACA doesn’t apply to me.False. Every employer and every individual has a responsible under the Affordable Care Act. Whether or not you meet the large employer threshold (50 Full Time Equivalent [FTE] employees), you have a responsibility to notify your employees of the Louisiana state exchange, also known as the Health Insurance Marketplace. By October, these exchanges will be operational and your employees will be looking to you for information and at the very least you will need to notify, in writing (and get a signature for your legal protection), where employees can access health insurance coverage information.
The NRA and the LRA have developed an online solution to help restaurateurs comply. Get Ready today: Register for the online solution and learn more about how to meet the October 1, 2013 deadline notification at healthcareadvice.com
I own several small businesses. I don’t have to combine all the employees together to determine whether I am a large employer, do I?Yes, you may need to combine employees for businesses under “common control.” Consult with your tax adviser or attorney about your particular circumstances, but you may need to consider your employees as one group for the purposes of the requirements of the health care law, regardless of whether you own a transportation company, a restaurant, a hotel, a timber business and a bar.
I have ownership in several businesses with partners and/or family members. How does common ownership factor into the ACA?The IRS will apply its longstanding common control standard of who is the employer—found at Internal Revenue Code 414(b), (c), (m) and (o)—in these situations. Under this standard, companies that have common ownership or are otherwise related sometimes must be considered as one employer. In the past, common control has been considered by the IRS as the same five or fewer people owning/controlling at least 80 percent of the companies.
My company offers a health care plan for managers. Will that still be allowed under the ACA?The health care law applies non-discrimination rules to insured group health plans. However, regulations have not been issued to explain how this would work. Any employer that offers management only or tiered health benefit plans should especially be on the lookout for the new non-discrimination rules, which could be issued in 2013.
It is unclear how these types of plans may be affected by the law, but until the regulations are issued, some professionals suggest offering a 60 percent actuarial value plan and the higher valued plan, but offer both plans to all employees. By doing so, you are allowing your line level employees the ability to buy up to the higher plan that they otherwise didn’t have access to, thus offsetting some possible negatives until more is known.
Is there a website that tells you all the loop holes?No, there are no loop holes. This the law so please visit www.healthcare.restaurant.org for the NRA’s Health Care Primer and get started today learning what you need to do to comply with the law.