Yesterday’s Supreme Court Decision on The ACA
By Michael Weiskirch
In his dissenting opinion, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito described yesterday’s decision as an “epic trilogy”. The very first case in 2012 was a 5-4 decision and yesterday’s ruling ended in 7-2 in favor of The Affordable Care Act. The ruling for the case known as California vs. Texas held that the plaintiffs lacked standing. It now seems more clear than ever that the ACA may be here to stay.
Public Shift Drives Policy
Beyond these evolving court battles, the country has seen a shift in the general opinion on the law. Over the last 10 years since it’s introduction, we have seen a growth in favorable opinion for The ACA of roughly 10 percentage points according the Kaiser Family Foundation. At the same time enrollment into Medicaid Expansion and Marketplace plans is at an all time high of 31 million according to HHS. And, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (COVID-19 relief) law passed in March 2021 expands Marketplace subsidies above 400% of poverty and also increases subsidies for those making between 100% and 400% of the poverty level which is expected to expand access.
What Does This Mean for Employers Going Forward?
It seems that yesterday’s decision may close the book on striking down the law for some time. That said, it would be advisable to renew focus and staying current on all compliance matters impacting companies with over 50 FTEs. We are seeing expanded efforts by the IRS and Treasury department towards greater penalty enforcement and eliminating relief measures. It is never more important for employers to make sure they tighten up their compliance.
Below are some considerations:
1. If you are a smaller employer make sure you have calculated your FTEs correctly.
2. If you are self-funded and below 50 FTEs for years 2016 and beyond make sure you have filed
3. Depending on the platform you use for ACA filing (Payroll, ACA stand alone, Benefits Admin) check to see if you have received confirmation that the IRS has accepted you prior to March 31 (electronic) for each year you were eligible to file.
4. If rejected by the IRS, make sure you have remedied that rejection within 60 days.
5. If you have employees in one of the states that require filing (CA, DC, NJ, RI, VT), make sure you have filed with each state for the years required.
6. If you received a letter from the IRS (e.g 226J) ensure you have responded on a timely basis based on the date outlined in the letter and the matter has been resolved.
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Michael Weiskirch is the founder of employee tech, firm that specializes in ACA reporting and HR Technology consulting. Michael’s began his career as a wholesaler on the employee benefits side and switched over to technology sales in 1999. As a leader and innovator, he structured partnerships with regional and large national brokers. In 2013 he founded EmployeeTech which has served over 2500 customers.