New Benefitfirst(TM) Capability Eases Employers’ Health Care Reform Burden with PPACA Compliance

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A quickly approaching health care reform requirement for employers is to report the cost of health coverage on Forms W-2. Clients of the Benefitfirst benefits management solution now have a new service to help them meet this requirement.

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This new reporting service adds yet another tool to our clients’ benefits toolkit that’s required for today’s health plans.

With the presidential election behind us and health care reform in clear view ahead, many employers are scrambling to comply with new requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). One new requirement that is quickly approaching is reporting cost of health coverage on Forms W-2. Clients of the Benefitfirst(TM) benefits management solution now have a new service to help them meet this requirement.

Under PPACA, businesses that filed 250 or more W-2 forms in 2011 must report the total value of employer-sponsored health coverage on employees’ 2012 Forms W-2, typically issued in January 2013. The new Benefitfirst service allows clients to generate a Benefit Premium Report showing employer and employee cost of health coverage quickly and easily via the Benefitfirst website. The client can then click “Export to Excel” to simplify the process of including the totals on their employees’ W-2 forms.

“A post-election poll of HR managers showed that many employers have put off making changes required by PPACA, so we want to make it as easy as possible on our Benefitfirst clients to comply with this fast-approaching deadline,” says Steve Lunceford, president of The Benefit Company, Inc., a full-service brokerage that owns the proprietary Benefitfirst benefits management solution. “That’s the main goal of our overall Benefitfirst solution – to ensure accuracy, control costs and increase efficiencies in benefits administration. This new reporting service adds yet another tool to our clients’ benefits toolkit that’s required for today’s health plans.”

This new reporting capability goes beyond what is needed for the PPACA mandate, however. With just a few keystrokes, clients can generate reports showing the employer and employee costs for any benefit enrolled or managed through Benefitfirst and for any timeframe.

The Form W-2 reporting provision under PPACA is intended to be informational only and does not mean that employer-provided coverage will be subject to income tax. Lunceford recommends that employers consult with their legal, tax and/or benefits advisor on which employees to include and what specifically should be reported to meet the Form W-2 reporting requirement.

About The Benefit Company, Inc.
The Benefit Company, Inc., is a full-service employee benefits consulting agency based in Columbia, S.C., with a proprietary and unique benefits management solution – BenefitfirstTM– designed for and available exclusively to its clients and its certified benefits partners’ clients. Benefitfirst is a robust benefits enrollment and management solution that audits, manages and transmits eligibility for more than 2,500 clients to hundreds of carriers each year throughout the U.S. It combines technology, client services and personalized support to automate and support an employer’s entire employee benefits cycle.

Founded in 1991, The Benefit Company offers consulting services and solutions that go well beyond plan design and rate changes. It provides detailed data analytics and cost projections of health care plans combined with highly actionable solutions and measurable results to reduce overall benefit costs and improve accuracy and productivity. For more information, call (803) 750-5781 or visit thebenefitcompany.com.

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Laura Schmid
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