How the ACA Might Impact the Employees and Clients of Friday Services
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), the comprehensive healthcare reform law often referred to as “Obamacare,” is impacting all health insurance providers, employers, and individuals across the United States today. The effects of the ACA are being widely discussed right now as the open enrollment period for government sponsored health insurance began on November 15, 2014 and will end on February 15, 2015.
Many individuals and companies have asked us how the ACA affects Friday Services, our employees, and our clients. Under the new law, employers must provide the opportunity for employees to buy medical insurance or pay a penalty per employee. We offer an affordable medical insurance plan to our employees that satisfies the requirements of the ACA for 2015.
You May Have to Pay a Fee if You Don’t Have Health Insurance
You should be aware that, under the ACA, the government will penalize certain individuals who do not sign up for insurance coverage (either through their employers or through the Health Insurance Marketplace). As with any government program, there are rules and exemptions. You can find information about those rules and exemptions at healthcare.gov. However, it appears that, under the law, most U.S. citizens and legal residents will have to either pay for health insurance or pay a penalty to the government. If you don’t have coverage in 2015 you will have to pay a fee that is equal to the higher of two amounts: either 2% of your yearly household income or $325 per person. Friday Services employees who are enrolled in our medical insurance plan will not have to pay this penalty.
Staffing Agency Clients, Co-Employment Issues, and the ACA
By offering an affordable insurance plan Friday Services protects our clients from paying a penalty to the government for uninsured employees. You may think that because Friday Services is the employer, that we are solely responsible for providing insurance under the ACA. But there is a unique circumstance that applies to us and many other staffing agencies. There is a co-employment relationship between Friday Services and our clients. This is true for a variety of reasons, including the fact that we don’t provide direct supervision of our employees at our clients’ jobsites, our clients’ supervisors do.
In this type of co-employment relationship the government has ruled that if a staffing agency doesn’t take care of its legal obligations as an employer, then the client may be responsible. Wages are one example of a situation in which this could arise. If a staffing agency does not pay its employees then the client company (where the employee was placed) could be liable for the payroll. The same could be true for insurance under the ACA, although this has not yet been ruled on. It is possible that if a staffing agency does not provide affordable insurance to their employees then their clients might be liable for the penalty.
At Friday Services we are committed to serving our clients and our employees by acting as a responsible, ethical, and honest employer. We do provide affordable health insurance to our employees and will meet our obligations. We also vow that we will do anything we can to help clients address the new demands of the ACA.
Friday Services is Committed to Compliance with the ACA
Friday Services is a proud member of the American Staffing Association (ASA). The ASA and its members strongly support compliance with the Affordable Care Act and are committed to the legal and ethical management of our workforces pursuant to the law’s provisions. As a member of the ASA, Friday Services is committed to compliance with the Affordable Care Act, in letter and in spirit.