Arizona Health Insurance Marketplace: Employer Reporting

Beginning October 1, employers must begin notifying employees of coverage options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Hopefully, this isn’t news to you, but if it is, or you know about the date but are still not sure what you need to do about the Arizona Health Insurance Marketplace, you are in the right place. Over the past few weeks there has been an onslaught of information about the ACA, but if you are like most small business owners, you likely have more questions than answers at this point. I have gone through the information and will point out what I believe are the key pieces of information small business owners must know now to tackle the first hurdle.

Employer Reporting Requirement

To coincide with the October 1 open enrollment start date for health insurance coverage, through the Arizona Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace), employers are also required to notify employees of coverage options available through the Marketplace. Some details on who must be informed, what you must include in your notification and a few tax related points you should know are listed below.

  • Notify each of your employees of their coverage options, period. It doesn’t matter if they are currently enrolled in a plan or if they are part-time or full-time.
  • You are only required to notify your employees. You are not obliged to notify dependents or other individuals who are or may become eligible for coverage.
  • The notice must include contact information and a description of the services provided by the Marketplace.
  • The notice must inform employees that they may be eligible for a premium tax credit when plans are obtained through the Marketplace.
  • You must let employees know that if they purchase a qualified health plan through the Marketplace, they may lose the employer contribution and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for Federal income tax purposes.
  • The notice requirement does not apply to businesses that have less than $500,000 in annual dollar volume.

Help for Employers

Fortunately for us all, the U.S. Department of Labor has developed what they call model language or templates for us to use. There are two templates; one for employers who offer a health plan and a different model for those who do not provide a plan. These are found at Employers who Offer a Health Plan and Employers who DO NOT offer a Health Plan.

For more information, visit www.healthcare.gov and www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform.

If you have any questions about the tax implications and the Arizona Health Insurance Marketplace, please contact me.

Randy Randy J. Elder, CPA, P.C.

With nearly three decades of professional experience in public accounting, Randy provides his tax and accounting expertise to new and small businesses in a casual and friendly environment. Before founding Randy J. Elder, CPA, P.C., he held various positions with an international accounting firm, and with regional and local CPA firms. Randy earned his Arizona CPA license in 1988, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from Northern Arizona University.

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