When it comes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
But if you’ve ever tried reading the ACA and understanding its complex requirements, that “ounce of prevention” can give you a really big headache.
For example, the ACA sets forth very specific criteria regarding the use of temporary employees supplied by staffing firms like Wood Personnel. So if your company uses temporary workers, you must take care to ensure that:
- The employment agency offers a healthcare plan that qualifies under ACA requirements;
- The employment agency properly classifies its workers and uses an appropriate “look-back” period to determine benefits eligibility;
- You understand your legal responsibilities when using temporary employees.
When it comes to compliance issues, it’s always best to consult a qualified attorney. But Wood Personnel is here to help, too. While this post is not intended as legal advice (and should not be construed as such), it presents common-sense ACA compliance tips when bringing on temporary workers.
Understand your staffing contract.
- Make sure your current employment agency contract clearly assigns responsibility for ACA compliance to the agency. As the employer of record, the staffing firm is responsible for providing required health insurance coverage to its workers.
- When reviewing the contract, ensure that it shows an understanding of the law’s tenets and adequately clarifies the healthcare coverage the employment agency offers its workers.
Verify that the employment agency complies with ACA requirements.
Make sure you can answer the following:
- Whether or not the staffing agency is exempt from ACA.
- (If not exempt) Whether the employment agency “pays” or “plays.”
- (If the agency “plays” – i.e., participates) Whether or not its healthcare plans are both affordable and compliant (using ACA criteria).
- How the staffing firm determines benefits eligibility.
- What controls the employment agency puts in place to track: eligibility dates; making offers of coverage; when its employees should be terminated from coverage.
Address co-employment concerns with the help of counsel.
Work with your counsel to protect yourself from liabilities arising from “common law employee” issues:
- Understand limits on assignment length.
- Make sure that the staffing agency’s contracts specify that their employees work solely for the agency – and that the staffing service obtains written employee acknowledgement of this fact.
- Ensure that the staffing service alone manages HR-related issues for the temporaries they provide, such as compensation, performance and time off.
Verify temporary workers’ health insurance information.
- Check onboarding documentation to confirm that it lists the healthcare plan the staffing service offers.
- Verify the “look-back” period the staffing agency used to determine whether or not the employee is eligible for healthcare benefits.
- Whenever you extend a temporary worker’s assignment, be sure that the employment agency re-evaluates the worker’s eligibility status as well.
- Document the process you use to validate and assess health insurance eligibility in case of an audit.
Wood Personnel Ensures Compliance and Productivity
As a leading Murfreesboro employment agency, our staffing services help protect your organization – and get your work done. Our health plans are compliant, affordable for employees, and meet all ACA requirements for 2015.