Situation: A CEO is doing benefit planning for next year. The company is small, with just under 100 full-time employees. They are growing, and anticipate reaching over 100 FTEs in the next 12 months, unless they consider either contract or less-than-full-time employees. The CEO is curious about what other companies are planning for employee benefits. What changes in benefits do you see for 2015?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Including employer-paid social security and Medicare matches, CEOs in the group are seeing a range of from 12.5% to 30% in benefits. This does not include 401K matches or bonuses.
- Over the last five years, there has been a big shift in benefits, in particular a move from traditional health coverage to high deductible HSA plans.
- ACA requirements for businesses kick in during 2015/2016. In 2015 employers with more than 100 FTEs will need to provide coverage to at least 70% of full-time employees. Starting in 2016 employers with 50 or more FTEs will need to provide coverage to 95% of their full-time workforce.
- Much depends upon your annual cost per employee is for health coverage as well as your philosophy on employee benefits.
- Starting in 2015, if a business is supposed to insure its full-time workers but does not, they will have to make a $2,000 per uninsured employee payment on their year-end federal income taxes.
- The fee is $3,000 if the employee gets health insurance subsidies through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
- Some companies who currently pay more than this in annual premiums per-employee are considering boosting employee pay and having their employees self-insure through the Marketplace, or by purchasing the same policies available in the Marketplace directly from health insurers. The policy cost is no different, assuming that the employees will not qualify for subsidies, but policies purchased directly from insurers may provide a better network of physician providers.
- Before you make any decisions, it is best to consult an outside HR professional who is knowledgeable in both health care alternatives and the ACA.