By Leslie Walbridge

Depending on your position in your company, you may have been excited to hear that ACA’s employer mandate has been delayed until 2015. However, let us not forget that it is still coming and, regardless of your role, you need to be prepared. Adrienne Nelson, Director of Global Services, recently noted in an article based on an industry survey that there is a “definite disconnect in buyers’ and suppliers’ expectations regarding who will pay for the increased costs.” In this case, “buyer” refers to the company purchasing staffing services. The “supplier” is the company that provides staffing services to the buyer. Nelson notes that in the staffing industry specifically, “60 percent of staffing firms expect to pass on the cost of healthcare reform to buyers.” This would mean that the clients of staffing firms would pay for the increase in costs.

For her analysis, Nelson groups staffing firms into two categories. The first group is made up of firms that employ less than 50 full-time equivalent employees. These firms are exempt from the employer mandate and therefore from the employer penalties. However, these companies are still responsible for keeping track of their employees and proving their exemption. The second group is composed of companies who are not exempt from the mandate by virtue of their size. In this case, “staffing suppliers would face a penalty or have to provide qualifying benefits.”

Buyers: Nelson offers you two pieces of advice. The first is to become familiar with what (if any) benefits are offered to temporary employees by your supplier. In addition, in the case of long-term temps, you must determine “who is core and who is truly ancillary and then do the cost analysis.”

In the nonprofit sector, it is incredibly important to be prepared for the changes that will come with the ACA employer mandate. Penalties and fines could cost a small organization dearly. Regardless of your position as a stakeholder, you must inform yourself about issues you face and your responsibilities.

For more information about Health Insurance Exchanges in DC, be sure to register for the town hall tomorrow with the DC Health Benefits Exchange Authority, Nonprofit HR and the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington.