Employee Benefits Administrator Helps Employers Make Sense of Recent Deadline Changes to “Pay or Play” Portion of Affordable Care Act

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As more deadline changes to the shared responsibility (“pay or play”) requirements within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were recently announced, Cypress Benefit Administrators continues to serve as a resource in offering employers compliance assistance. The Midwest-based employee benefits administrator breaks down the timing for the final ruling by company size and provides helpful details on other ACA rule highlights.

Cypress Benefit Administrators
It’s not just about when the requirements take effect. Employers need to know what their specific responsibilities are under the ACA and how to meet them to avoid facing federal penalty.

An employee benefits administrator with card-carrying members in all 50 states, Cypress Benefit Administrators is helping employers understand requirement changes now that the shared responsibility (“pay or play”) deadlines within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have again been extended.

The Wisconsin-headquartered company serves many large-sized employers affected by this ruling and has been following all changes since its inception. It breaks down the new timing set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in early February as it relates to when employers must provide a minimum level of affordable health insurance before penalties may be incurred.

As Cypress explains, the “pay or play” requirements only apply to employers with a certain number of full-time employees or full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Each year, this number must be re-assessed.

  • Employers with fewer than 50 employees (including FTEs) – There is no penalty for not providing health coverage to employees.
  • Employers with 50-99 full-time employees (including FTEs) – Under the new final ruling, these employers are subject to the “pay or play” requirements, but the requirements will not apply until 2016.
  • Employers with 100+ employees (including FTEs) – These employers must offer affordable coverage to at least 70% of full-time employees in 2015 and reach a level of 95% coverage in 2016.

In its latest ‘Cypress Solution’ eNewsletter, Cypress provides more details for affected employers, including measurement methods for determining a company’s number of full-time employees in a plan year.

Cypress President and CEO, Tom Doney, explained that his team of employee benefit administrators has been receiving several inquiries on the recent rule changes. “We have been keeping a close eye on the ACA and related changes since it first came about,” he said. “There have been a lot of rule updates along the way and many employers are looking to us to help interpret the technical lingo.” With another change to the deadlines, Doney noted, “It’s not just about when the requirements take effect. Employers need to know what their specific responsibilities are under the ACA and how to meet them to avoid facing federal penalty.”

In addition to the ACA “pay or play” timing changes, Cypress also offers clarification assistance on the 2014 to 2015 extension of a package of limited transition rules that relate to non-calendar plan years, dependent coverage and more.

A privately held company headquartered in Appleton, Wis., Cypress Benefit Administrators has been pioneering the way toward cost containment in self-funded health benefits since 2000. The third party administrator (TPA) is the country’s first to bring claims administration, consumer driven health plans and proven cost control measures together into one package for companies ranging from 50 employees to thousands of employees. It serves employer-clients across the U.S. with additional locations in Portland and Salem, Ore., Omaha, Neb. and Colorado Springs, Col. For more information on Cypress and its customized employee benefits, visit http://www.cypressbenefit.com.

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Lori Van Handel
Willems Marketing
+1 920.750.5020
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Tom Doney
Cypress Benefit Administrators
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