ACA Compliance – Whose Job is it, Anyway?

Despite decades of alternative approaches, health care costs are skyrocketing. In fact, per capita costs have risen faster than inflation every single year since 1965. These expenditures now account for 20 percent of the U.S. GDP.1

The latest, and by far the most epic, approach to U.S. Health Care Reform – the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – has created an unprecedented environment of compliance complexity. In effect, the ACA has rewritten the rules of U.S. workforce management – transforming what was once an annual enrollment event into a monthly process of tracking and reporting extensive data points for every employee within an organization, across multiple functional areas and systems. Moreover, noncompliance carries the potential of significant penalties.

For business owners and executives, a core ACA-related necessity involves investing in solutions to help their companies comply with the law – systems, processes and service-based solutions that provide requisite flexibility, especially as the extended implementation of the law is likely to spawn new rules and requirements out over several years. Meanwhile, strategic decision makers must remain focused on driving their business, managing their workforce, and investing in strategies that will accelerate top-line growth.

Interestingly, there is still some confusion about the ACA law including who, within the company, is responsible for ACA compliance. In many organizations, responsibility for ACA compliance has not yet been completely clarified and is often seen as someone else’s responsibility. However, an ADP® survey2 of midsized and large organization decision makers reveals:

  • Most C-level decision makers – including chief executive officers and presidents – are heavily engaged in decision making regarding ACA compliance.
  • A majority of decision makers surveyed indicated that “fast and easy access to employee data” is “extremely important” to ACA compliance, acknowledging the fact that accurate payroll and HR data are essential to crucial computations that drive ACA-related compliance.
  • While Benefits and HR staff appear to be most involved in ACA solution implementation, other key staff functions – including Payroll – are playing definable roles.
  • Although most survey respondents are either “extremely confident” or “very confident” that their companies are currently compliant with ACA requirements, up to 27 percent of midsized and 28 percent of large company respondents indicated that they are only “somewhat confident,” in their current ACA compliance posture.

In addition to sharing highlights of study results, this white paper offers function-specific suggestions on how organizations can navigate the complexities of Health Care Reform by proactively engaging and coordinating the expertise of internal departments, from IT and Human Resources to Payroll and Legal.

For organizations that prefer to purchase service-based solutions, partnering with a third party to help with ACA compliance is an attractive option, because it opens the door to leveraging existing expertise that comes with flexible systems, proven processes, and best practices.

1 “National Health Expenditure Data.” CMS.gov Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 11 April 2012.
http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/downloads/tables.pdf.

2 ADP Quantitative Research Survey, December 2013.