Why Everyone Within Your Organization Should Advocate for ACA

Diverse professional executive team meeting in the office.

Each level in your organization may have questions about the impact of ACA (Affordable Care Act) compliance requirements when it comes to benefit cost, eligibility, reporting, and more. How do you meet each level where they are? Through advocacy and alignment throughout the organization.

When you stop to think about the shareholders of your company and what interests them, did you factor in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? Despite ACA compliance requirements being in place for over a decade, there are still questions surrounding its complexities, and some of those questions may be coming from a leader in your organization.

Often, the Internal Revenue Code regulations and supporting IRS publications include complex legal language, which can cause confusion. Plus, ACA compliance requirements and reporting can feel like a major challenge. You may have found yourself with the job of "handling" the work needed to support ACA requirements, or maybe you found yourself in the role knowing exactly what you had to do. How many hours have you thought about Form 1095-C ACA codes as you began to settle into the new world of ACA? Do all levels of leadership in your organization understand what is required to be compliant, or are you inundated with more questions than you may have answers to?

Each level in your organization may have unique concerns about benefit cost, eligibility, reporting, and more when it comes to the impact of ACA compliance requirements. How do you meet each level where they are? You advocate! Advocacy for the ACA is crucial in your organization for several reasons, including:

  • Understanding why you need alignment and ensuring that others see the importance of it.
  • Showing partners and leaders that the key to this alignment is the work that is being done and the savings being created.

This article explores the reasons why every level of your organization should advocate for the ACA and offers support to make advocacy a reality.

Lack of advocacy and the financial implications

Within any organization, there is always a focus on financial implications. Healthcare costs are no exception. ACA reporting requirements can also heavily impact workload, as does the actual administration of health insurance coverage benefits.

ACA compliance requirements can affect the overall employer and employee compensation cost structure, directly impacting an organization's budget and planning. The ACA introduced cost-sharing subsidies. How do they impact your organization? Decision-makers need experts to assist with understanding what works both for their employees and for their budget. ACA intricacies when considering what health insurance coverage benefits you offer to whom and for what amount can make or break your fiscal plan.

By advocating for the ACA, organizations demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being, which can be a powerful factor in attracting and retaining top talent. Offering comprehensive health coverage benefits can be a competitive advantage in a tight labor market. Failing to offer required health insurance that meets minimum ACA requirements can affect employer margins, employee expenses, employee morale, and legal compliance.

Requirements extend beyond just offering the required coverage; reporting requirements also demand employer compliance. Non-compliance could trigger not only immediate financial implications but also further risk!

Mitigating potential risk

ACA compliance is more than checking a box or applying Form 1095-C ACA codes. How closely is your organization monitoring the offer of affordable minimum essential coverage that provides minimum value to full-time employees and their dependents? For example:

  • How timely are offers of coverage made, and do they meet minimum essential coverage, minimum value, and affordability requirements?
  • How does your company account for potential penalties associated with not meeting the requirements outlined in the Internal Revenue Code?

Your responses to these questions could signal potential risk. The ACA can significantly impact your company's employee benefits, compliance, financial planning objectives, and resources. It is important to understand the impact to ensure alignment with strategic goals.

Compliance issues, including penalties, can affect the company's financial stability and bottom line, bringing with them reputational harm. According to internal ADP Health Care Reform compliance partners, enforcement of penalties has increased — how prepared are you and your organization? Furthermore, the potential impact of not providing a timely, qualifying offer of health insurance coverage could negatively impact workforce health and morale. Employees may delay medical attention, leading to more severe health issues, which impact not only them but your organization as well.

Your organization must actively decide how it will manage risk. Will you choose to budget for potential penalties, or will you proactively work toward compliance? Advocating for the ACA among your peers and leaders helps to mitigate risks by ensuring your organization is aligned with its strategic, financial, ethical and cultural missions.

By substantiating the required ACA efforts and working with a third-party provider proficient in ACA requirements, you help drive support for these missions while mitigating risk. Awareness of financial implications and risk are convincing reasons to advocate. Let's review ways to get buy-in within the organization because everyone thrives when you have a profitable, productive and healthy workforce.

How to get others to advocate with you

You can reduce your company's risk and administrative burden with increased visibility, understanding and expertise. Penalties associated with not meeting ACA requirements can quickly add up, causing strain on many areas of your organization. Additional responsibilities can also increase the workload on internal resources.

Proactively understanding the ACA and partnering with experts is a straightforward way to mitigate potential penalties. Here are a few essential tips to be successful in your journey:

  • Continually assess if and how the ACA impacts and applies to your organization.
  • Obtain buy-in from your top-level executives by showing the work that has been done and the value you've received from your trusted partners.
  • Ensure that key employees have training in and understanding of requirements or that they have access to experts who do.
  • Collaborate with your internal partners to ensure alignment.
  • Use software or a third party to streamline compliance.
  • Stay up to date on legal and regulatory changes.
  • Stay aware and share your awareness with key stakeholders.

Advocating for the ACA within your organization makes sound economic and practical sense. This landmark legislation requires your continual attention to ensure that the applicable requirements are being met. By using insights to gain support throughout all levels of your organization, you are empowered to take action to reduce negative financial implications and mitigate potential risks. By using solutions and leveraging third-party providers that can help support your organization's mission for compliance, you can focus on the tasks that matter most.

For more information on compliance with ACA requirements, check out this resource, ADP SmartCompliance® Health Compliance: Compliance Insights