For small businesses that are currently not offering health insurance coverage to employees, there are some important dates to mark your calendars with in the upcoming months. With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines changing each year, it is important to keep up with compliance and reach these dates and deadlines for the 2017 open enrollment period. Important deadlines are:
November 1, 2016 – The first day of open enrollment for enrolling, renewing, or making changes to a 2017 insurance plan through the ACA marketplace.
December 15, 2017 – Last day to enroll in or change coverage for January 2017.
January 1, 2017 – 2017 coverage starts for those who enrolled or changed plans by the December 15, 2017 deadline.
January 31, 2017 – Last day to enroll in or change 2017 health plans. Anything after this date can only be changed if it qualifies for a special enrollment period.
Open enrollment can be a great time to help out your employees and strengthen your employee benefits package. Consulting a broker during this time to review the upcoming open enrollment and discuss insurance plans could be valuable to help further your understanding of providing health insurance as a small business. Alternatively, even if your small business opts not to provide insurance as part of your package, there are things you can do like setting up a reimbursement plan to give employees tax free allowance for health insurance premiums.
As a small business it is important to keep in mind that while in 2015 businesses needed to insure 70 percent of their full-time workers, for 2017 reporting, businesses with 50 or more employees must insure at least 95 percent of employees to avoid compliance fines. For help with ACA compliance or to discuss health insurance options for your small business, feel free to Contact Us or checkout our ACA compliance checklist .