Staying ACA Compliant in 2018

February 27, 2018

ACA compliance software

The healthcare landscape is constantly in flux, making it hard for businesses to feel confident managing their insurance plans and ensuring their compliance. While the future of the Affordable Care Act is uncertain, it’s still very much alive, with over 8,000,000 people signing up during the 2017 open enrollment period. However the ACA may change in the future, these changes shouldn’t necessitate your paralysis now. So, how can you be sure your business is ahead of ACA compliance? Just follow these 3 steps:

STEP 1: Determine if you’re subject to ACA requirements

First, we must determine if you’re considered an Applicable Large Employer (ALE). A company is considered an ALE if it employed an average of 50 or more full-time (FT) employees, including full-time equivalents (FTEs), during the previous calendar year.

Need help calculating your not-full-time employees? Download our ACA compliance guidebook here to learn more!

STEP 2: Make sure you provide minimum essential coverage to employees

Ensuring that you provide “minimum essential coverage” to 95% or more of your eligible employees is one of the core purposes of the ACA. In order to comply, coverage must meet two requirements: it must be affordable and it must also be of minimum value.

Minimum essential coverage for ACA compliance must be:

    • Less than 9.65% for the 2016 plan year
    • Less than 9.69% for the 2017 plan year
    • Less than 9.56% for the 2018 plan year
    • Employers can also determine affordability by calculating the percentage (9.69% in 2017, for example) of employees W2 wages, hourly pay rate, or the Federal Poverty Level for an individual
    • Refers to the comprehensiveness of the plan, or how much it covers
    • Pays for at least 60% of medical expenses on average for a standard population of employees

STEP 3: Complete the required ACA compliance forms

If you’re an ALE, and you’ve collected all the necessary info from your workforce, as well as made the necessary calculations, then it’s time to complete the two documents required for ACA compliance: Forms 1094-C and 1095-C.

Important Deadlines


  • Deadline to file with IRS:
    • Mailed deadline: Feb 28, 2018
    • Digital deadline: April 2, 2018


  • Deadline to furnish to eligible employees:
    • March 2, 2018
  • Deadline to file with IRS:
    • Mailed deadline: February 28, 2018
    • Digital deadline: April 2, 2018

More Help

If you want further help with ACA compliance, look into our Zenefits Compliance tool today!

Here’s what customer Amy Dalebout from FiscalNote has to say about our compliance app:


“Do you like completing legally required paperwork that leaves you stuck in spreadsheets for days? Neither did we – and that is where the ACA Compliance App came to the rescue, saving us time by syncing our information and generating our paperwork automatically.”


Zenefits ACA Compliance Automation automatically:

  • Tells you if you offered Minimum Essential and Minimum Value Coverage to qualified employees per ACA requirements.
  • Generates IRS forms 1094-C and 1095-C.
  • Distributes 1095-C forms to your employees.
  • E-files 1094-C and 1095-C forms with the IRS.

Want to learn more about ACA compliance? Download our pocket guidebook today:

ACA compliance guidebook


After working in the field of psychology research for years, Bella loves sharing what she's learned in a more directly impactful context. She's interested in the intersection of people and business, and wants to promote conversations about HR. She's an amateur ceramicist, pro dog walker, and produces podcasts on the side.

Category: HR Tips & Trends, Compliance, Zenefits

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