Starting in 2016, businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees will be on the hook to pay for the healthcare of any employees working 30 hours or more per week. And if you don’t, say hello to a fine of $2,000 per full-time (30 hours or more) employee per year. That’s right – these fines come knocking every single year.
The year 2016 is a monumental one for healthcare. Through 2015, businesses were able to deduct a total of 80 full-time employees from their fine obligations which led to the majority of businesses having zero liability for the year. In 2016, that changes as the federal government changes the full-time employee deduction to 30. In other words, if you have the equivalent of 50 or more full-time employees and have over 30 employees working 30 hours or more a week (full-time), you will be charged $2,000 per full-time employee over the magic 30 threshold.
At first glance this may seem like a bigger business issue to you. Don’t buy into that trap. As the new fines unfold, employers are bound to see more healthcare coverages for workers emerging in the marketplace creating major competition amongst big and small employers for workers. In the not too distant future, mom and pop location “X” may start to lose their employees to bigger business “Y” because bigger business “Y” is now offering some form of a healthcare plan to their workers to avoid federal fines.
The shifts in the marketplace are coming and the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is ready with a solution. As of December 1, 2015, ORLA’s health plan options are available for members big and small but will be a member only benefit for active businesses in the association.
For under $49 per full-time worker per month, member businesses will be able to join the ORLA Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) Plan giving each subscriber access to preventative care. In addition, the plan will save large employers from excessive federal fines for not offering coverage and will protect all workers signed up in the plan from individual yearly fines that are incurred when they don’t have health coverage.
In addition, ORLA will offer a MEC Plus Plan for under $69 per full-time worker per month that provides access for each worker to four doctor office visits a year.
Both plans will become a major solution for our industry and member businesses due to their ability to protect employers and their employees from fines while offering an affordable health coverage option to businesses interested in adding a perk to their workforce benefits.
The healthcare evolution in the United States is at our doorstep and we will all feel it one way or the other. Do yourself a favor and take action by owning the solution that has been vetted and packaged for you through your membership.
Visit OregonRLA.org/HealthPlan for more information and to get a quote.
Not a member yet? Email our membership department and we’ll get you squared away. | Jason Brandt, President & CEO