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09 Sep

ACA Benefit Plan Offering Effective 1-1-15

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Affordable Care Act Benefit Plan Offering

We are happy to announce our Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance services effective January 1, 2015.

The ACA appears to be here to stay and for large employers, the ACA requires you to provide minimum essential health benefits which provide minimum value at a premium that is affordable, to at least 70% of your full-time employees (95% in 2016). Our goal is to help you make informed decisions about ACA compliance and minimize the impact on your company’s bottom line. For those of you who are considered large employers, or will likely be considered such at some point in 2015, we will be contacting you before the end of September,
to discuss our services, answer your questions and schedule a meeting, as needed, to present our solutions. If you would prefer for us to communicate with your insurance agent, we are happy to do so. Please have him/her contact us as soon as possible.

In this first communication, we want to let you know that we have selected a benefit plan option through Essential StaffCARE (“ESC”). We have been using ESC for many years now and they are uniquely qualified and well positioned to provide ACA compliant benefit plans to all of our clients. ESC has designed two benefit plans which will minimize or avoid the penalties imposed by the ACA. Here is a brief look at these plans and the compliance elements they satisfy.

The Minimum Essential Coverage Plan (“MEC”) will require no employer contribution because the premium is paid directly by your employees who elect this coverage. By simply offering the MEC plan, you will not be liable for the “A” penalty, which is assessed monthly at the rate of $166.66 per full-time employee less the first 80 (reducing to 30 in 2016). Employees who purchase this coverage satisfy the individual mandate of having minimum coverage, and will therefore avoid the individual penalties imposed by the IRS.

The Minimum Value Plan (“MV”), is referred to as a “bronze” level benefit plan, and must be “affordable” to all full-time employees in order to avoid the “B” penalty, which is assessed monthly at the rate of $250.00 per month per employee who purchases coverage from the government exchange and receives a subsidy. One definition of affordability is that the employee premium may not exceed 9.5% of the employee’s W-2 income.

We will be sending you the premium rates for each of these plans in the near future. We have done extensive research, shopped the marketplace and explored many solutions finding the ESC benefit plans to be the most comprehensive and affordable option. However, ACA compliance is not a one-size-fits-all and therefore, we have other solutions available.

In addition to the benefit plans, we will provide a compliance tracking software system that will measure, monitor, analyze, alert and report to help you achieve your desired level of compliance. Below are a few things you can expect from the tracking solution:

  • Measure employee count and determine large employer status.
  • Monitor employee status to identify full-time employees to whom coverage must be offered.
  • Analyze compliance level and cost of offering benefits verses paying penalties.
  • Alert you when employees become eligible.
  • Report on current and future status of employee population allowing you to evaluate and adjust compliance strategy; and generate annual IRS reports.

We look forward to providing you with solutions which you can rely on as you make important decisions related to ACA compliance. If you have any questions or concerns that need addressed prior to us contacting you later in the month, please reach out to either Kris Hansberger, Director of Employee Benefits or Ryan Scott, V.P. of Sales at 480-993-2650.


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