The recent pullback of the American Health Care Act and ongoing discussions to revive GOP health reform in some capacity have put doubt in employers’ minds as to the necessity of Affordable Care Act reporting requirements this year. This has caused some companies to question the need to complete their ACA obligation on a timely basis.

If anything can be learned from these uncertain times, it is to stay the course and follow through based on the most current information. Unless and until something permanent is in place, do not be distracted. Advisers and employers should still be sending forms to employees, getting required reporting out to the IRS and putting a close to the 2016 filing season.

Bloomberg/file photo

To reduce confusion, companies that offer these services have been reaching out to clients, providing legislative updates through regular email communication and conducting informational webinars. By bringing in industry legal experts, clients can better understand their obligation for the current and future years, which allows them to plan out their next steps.

Increased importance
We know clients would prefer not to have to comply with these reporting obligations. We understand this requires additional work on their part to gather their information for the reporting. However, if anything, the uncertainty surrounding the ACA’s future has increased the level of importance for advisers to go out of your way to help the client feel confident that they will get the through the reporting process unscathed.

Also see:Benefits pros on the move: ACAP, The Standard, Zenefits and more make appointments.”

It is the adviser’s role, often working with a vendor, to take as much of the burden off of employers’ shoulders and enable them to reach compliance in the most expedient manner possible. Sometimes this involves stepping in to solve data or other technical issues the client is struggling with. Sometimes it’s answering a compliance-related question that helps them make important decisions. Either way, it’s part of helping clients through a difficult process during uncertain times. This is the job we signed up for.

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Michael Weiskirch

Michael Weiskirch

Weiskirch’s firm, EmployeeTech, is the developer of HealthCostManager, an online analysis tool for health plan sponsorship.