Frequently Asked Questions
ACA Management Tool®
The US Presidential election has resulted in speculation regarding the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and more specifically the elimination of the Employer Shared Responsibility requirements. While this is a possibility, moving a bill through Congress can be a difficult process which could take years to pass.
Until any proposed changes are confirmed and new regulations are implemented, the current mandates are the law and failing to comply with them exposes an employer to significant penalties.
ACA GPS will conduct business as usual and continue to assist employers in meeting their obligations under the current ACA regulation until any modifications to the current law are passed and implemented. We will keep our software product, ACA Management Tool®, fully compliant with the Employer Mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act regulation and update the software accordingly.
Q: What is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?
A: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or ACA) is a United States federal statute signed into law on March 23, 2010. It represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the United States health care system since Medicare and Medicaid were passed in 1965. The ACA was enacted to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate by expanding private and public insurance coverage, and reduce costs of health care for individuals and the government. It consists of a combination of measures to accomplish these goals including Individual Mandates and Employer Mandates.
Q: What is the employer mandate?
A: Generally, the employer mandate specifies that employers must offer health insurance that is affordable and provides minimum value to 95% of their full-time employees and their children up to age 26, or be subject to penalties. It applies to employers with 50 or more full-time employees, and/or full-time equivalents (FTEs).
Q: How will my employee information be loaded into the ACA Management Tool®?
A: The ACA Management Tool® integrates easily with any type of scheduling, payroll, or Human Resource Information System software. In just a few simple steps, your employee information will be securely uploaded to the Tool®. Our Customer Support & Services Department is available to assist you with the initial information upload, and any questions that you might have regarding the Tool® or the Affordable Care Act.
Q: Will the ACA Management Tool® calculate my total FTE (full-time equivalent) count?
A: Yes – the ACA Management Tool® is able to calculate your full time employee and full-time equivalent employee counts.
Q: Will the ACA Management Tool® help me determine if I am an Applicable Large Employer?
A: Yes – after integrating your employee information in the ACA Management Tool®, you can quickly and easily determine if Applicable Large Employer status applies. Additionally, you can immediately determine which employees qualify for coverage, track the employees that are approaching the threshold, and generate the necessary IRS forms for reporting.
Q: Why should I choose the ACA Management Tool®?
A: The ACA Management Tool® provides you with Tracking, Reporting, and Analysis tools in one easy to use package and gives you the Control and Knowledge needed to stay on TRACK and maintain compliance with the Affordable Care Act and the IRS reporting regulations.
Q: What are the 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C forms and what is the difference?
A: These are the Affordable Care Act coverage reporting forms. The 1095-A will be sent to anyone that purchased health insurance through healthcare.gov. The 1095-B will be sent to anyone who purchased health insurance directly from an insurer, or if they received coverage through their small business employer (not subject to the employer mandate). The 1095-C will be sent to anyone that was offered or received health coverage from an Applicable Large Employer (subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility Provision).
Q: When are the 1094/1095 Affordable Care Act Forms due for Tax Year 2017?
A: The IRS deadlines are:
- 1095s postmarked to employees/responsible individuals: January 31, 2018
- If mailing the 1094/1095s to the IRS (employers with less than 250 forms are eligible to submit their information returns to the IRS via USPS first class mail): February 28th, 2018
- If filing the 1094/1095s to the IRS electronically (all subscribers to the ACA Management Tool® are able to transmit their information returns to the IRS electronically, for no additional charge): April 2nd, 2018*
*The regular due date, March 31, falls on a Saturday in 2018. IRS instructions are for employers to file on the next business day, which is Monday, April 2.
Q: Will you mail the Form 1095s to my employees?
A: Subscribers to the ACA Management Tool® have the option to purchase our Print, Pack & Mail package for just $2.00 per Form 1095 that needs to be mailed on their behalf. We print the forms, tri-fold them, package them in a dual window envelope & mail them using First Class USPS postage. If any forms are not deliverable or marked return to sender, they are returned to the employer for further processing. The deadline to order this service is January 22nd, 2018 – in order to meet the IRS postmark deadline of January 31, 2018.
Q: Do I need to obtain my own TCC number?
A: No – you do not need to obtain your own TCC (Transmitter Control Code) number if you purchase a subscription to the ACA Management Tool®. All subscribers transmit the data required under IRS §6055 and §6056 directly from within their subscription via ACA GPS, LLC’s TCC. We are registered with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Affordable Care Act Information Returns (AIR) Program as both a transmitter and a developer.
Q: How are the ACA forms similar?
A: The ACA forms provide information about your health coverage during the previous year. Although you may receive more than one form, and they may come from different sources, they should all be kept with your tax records.
Q: Can your solution handle both measurement methods outlined in the Affordable Care Act regulation?
A: Yes – The ACA Management Tool® allows an employer to track employees using either the Lookback Measurement Method or the Monthly Measurement Method. The system documents all status changes at the employee level, creating an audit trail. The employer dashboard provides insight into employees that are near the threshold, at the threshold, or over the threshold of eligibility. The dashboard also alerts the employer to any upcoming events that are on the 30 day horizon (i.e. Measurement Period Ending, Administrative Period Beginning, IRS filing deadlines, etc.)
Q: Does your solution allow an employer to compare scenarios, assess the risk of penalties, and drill into details of specific employees that present possible fine risks?
A: Yes – The ACA Management Tool® provides employers with an overview and detailed analysis of their compliance status in regards to the Affordable Care Act regulation, including both Section 4980H(a) and Section 4980H(b) penalties. The user has the ability to compare scenarios for different categories of workers using both the Lookback and Monthly Measurement Methods. Employers can analyze data at the Company level, or any subdivision (department, location, region, etc) within the company. Additionally, an employer can drill down to the individual employee level for a detailed current and historical status report from multiple areas within the application.
Q: Can you transmit to the IRS?
A: Yes – we have obtained our TCC (Transmitter Control Code) from the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Affordable Care Act Information Returns (AIR) Program as both a transmitter and a developer. Subscribers to the ACA Management Tool® electronically file their 1094/1095 C (or B) forms to the IRS via ACA GPS’s TCC number. Employers do NOT need to apply for their own TCC number with the IRS. There is no need for the subscriber to conduct IRS testing or attempt to create an XML file.
Q: If I can’t attend one of the webinars, can I view a full length demonstration of the ACA Management Tool®?
A: Yes. Visit our Affordable Care Act information channel to view a previously recorded webinar or one of many educational videos we’ve created.
Q: Can I purchase a subscription online?
A: Yes. Our Reporting Only Subscription product is available for purchase online. C Series and B Series subscriptions are available starting at just $199. Visit our Homepage to receive a quote instantly. To purchase, visit our Products Page. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. You can also purchase the Print, Pack & Mail service ($2.00 per Form 1095) on the products page.
Q: What is Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC)?
A: The IRS provides detailed guidelines regarding Minimum Essential Coverage requirements. Click here to view the chart provided by the IRS.
Q: Where can I find instructions on mailing the forms to the IRS?
Q: Where can I find instructions on electronically filing the forms to the IRS?
A: Instructions for electronically filing the forms to the IRS are available through these links: 2016 Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C or 2016 Instructions for Forms 1094-B and 1095-B. However, if you decide to subscribe to the ACA Management Tool, you do NOT need to apply for a TCC number with the IRS. There is no need for you to conduct IRS testing or attempt to create an XML file. ACA GPS is authorized to transmit all 1094/1095 B and C submissions to the IRS for private businesses, government entities and insurance companies. For Tax Year 2015, 100% of ACA Management Tool® subscribers met the deadlines for distribution of the 1095 forms and electronic filing of the 1094/1095 forms with the IRS. Additionally, those subscribers that received “TIN/SSN Validation Error” messages were able to correct and resubmit to the IRS in a timely manner, at no additional cost to the employer.
- No TCC needed
- No IRS testing needed
- No XML file needed
- Guaranteed submission to the IRS
- One Tool® does it all – the ACA Management Tool®
Q: Where can I get more information on the IRS and the ACA?
A: The IRS website contains information regarding the Affordable Care Act, including guidelines and FAQs for individuals and employers, on their website. For more information on the Affordable Care Act, you can visit the US Department of Health & Human Services website.
The links below will take you to external resources that cover the indicated topic. When you select one of the links, a new browser window will open. This page – acagps.com – will stay open so that you can easily return to it.
- Health Insurance Marketplace
- Internal Revenue Service: “Employer Shared Responsibility”
- Internal Revenue Service: “Q & A on Employer Shared Responsibility”
- Internal Revenue Service: “Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions”
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: General Info
- The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation: “Summary of the Affordable Care Act”
- The Bill: “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”
- Federal Register: “Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage”