There are two components of ACA that require data for full compliance. First, there is the data needed for tracking part-time and variable hour workers. Second, there is the data needed for ACA reporting to the IRS.
Data required for tracking part-time and variable hour workers
Employers must keep track of part-time and variable hour workers during a measurement period of three to twelve months. The employees who qualify as full-time must be offered health insurance for a stability period* of no less than six months. Then, the entire cycle repeats itself. Time and attendance records for part-time and variable hour workers are necessary data that are used to determine if the employees meet eligibility requirements of full-time employees. In essence, if the employee works an average of 30 or more hours per week or an average of 120 hours or more per month, during the measurement period, then the employee is considered full-time equivalent (FTE*) for the ensuing stability period. Employers must average the employee’s actual hours worked either monthly or weekly for the entire measurement period. And, there are rules affecting the averaging formula regarding employee leave and company shut-down periods.
Data required for ACA Reporting
Data for the Forms 1095 and 1094 often comes from several different divisions within a company. Payroll, human resource and finance data, as well as time and attendance records and benefits information, are all needed for ACA reporting. Data such as full-time or part-time status for every employee is required along with employer identification number and IRS reporting authorization. The employees’ hire dates, termination dates, changes of employee status dates, and reassignment dates are required data. Insurance coverage data and data on employees who opted to waive coverage is also required. Because the data comes from several departmental sources, the data is often difficult to extract and compile into reporting readiness.