By - January 20, 2021

What You Need to Do to Be Prepared for ACA Filing

Prepare for ACA Filing

There are many moving parts that go into preparing for ACA filing. Our suggestion is to keep up with sending ACA data to your vendor and reviewing ACA compliance throughout the year to avoid increasing penalties. Also, by preparing for ACA every month, you won’t have a large pile of work to do in a short period of time.

The IRS provides 1095 filing requirements, and we put together our recommended steps to help prepare for ACA filing. Of course some vendors, like Tango Health, make ACA filing a lot easier by managing the process and providing accurate monthly reporting.

Know your dates

Make sure you know all the important timelines. These include when to deliver 1095-C forms to employees and file with the IRS (remember-you have a little extra time if you file electronically). But you should also know the deadline for sending files to your ACA print vendor, as well as when you will need to send them corrections.

Here are key ACA milestones for 2021.

ACA MilestoneDeadline
Send files to ACA print vendorUsually weeks before the deadline
Send corrections to ACA print vendorCheck with your printer and/or ACA vendor
Deliver 1095-C forms to employeesMarch 2, 2021
(IRS extended from the normal January 31 deadline)
Paper ACA filing with the IRSFebruary 28, 2021
Electronic ACA fiilng March 31, 2021

Verify your ACA data is accurate

Because ACA data is complex, your organization should be checking it consistently throughout the year. This means verifying that the data is both accurate and complete. If you see inconsistent information, then you or your vendor should investigate and make corrections.

Review ACA compliance

You also need to answer the important question of whether your organization has met the IRS 95% threshold for offers of Minimal Essential Coverage (MEC) to full-time employees. Make sure all affordability safe harbors have been accurately calculated and correctly applied.  

Lookout for subsidy notices

Often subsidy notices are sent in the summer and fall. Be on the lookout for subsidies – and if you receive them, you or your vendor will need to investigate which ones can be appealed. Supporting information will be needed to support your appeal, and you’ll need to process the appeal expediently.

Get ready for internal audits

Before you submit to the IRS, some organizations will go through an internal ACA compliance audit. These audits often include review of overall compliance (offers of coverage to full-time employees), affordability testing, and confirmation that plans provide Minimum Value (MV). Make sure you’re prepared to provide the information in the required format.

Send 1095-C forms to employees

Make sure you keep up with your ACA plan so you meet all timelines—especially those that happen during your busy end-of-year. Even though the deadline to send 1095-C forms to employees is usually January 31, the IRS has extended this deadline to March 2, 2021. The deadline to send final files and print the 1095-C forms is even earlier. Don’t forget to discuss key printing timelines with your vendor.

Send ACA files to the IRS

Not long after printing ACA forms, it’s time to file with the IRS. The IRS paper filing timeline is earlier than electronic filing. Check to see if your vendor has their own IRS submitter ID. At Tango Health, we have our own IRS submitter ID and we use it to support our clients by correcting anything that might cause a rejection and analyzing/fixing errors on accepted records. We also send test files to make sure the data is set up accurately. To ensure a smooth and timely submission, verify both EIN and company name are accurate before submitting ACA filing to the IRS and that you do not have any critical errors that would cause a rejection.

Send state individual mandate files

New Jersey and Washington D.C. require state individual mandate reporting starting in 2020 while other states like California, Rhode Island, and Vermont require reporting starting in 2021. Make sure you understand your responsibilities for state mandate reporting based on if you have employees in those states and/or if they pay income tax to those states. These reporting deadlines are generally close to the IRS deadline.

We can help

Please contact us if you’ve been managing ACA filing on your own and need help or are not happy with the results you’ve had with your vendor.  We offer a complete ACA reporting solution focused on accuracy—we even help our clients respond to IRS penalties and comply with state individual healthcare mandates.

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