DOL Starts Auditing Employers for ACA Compliance
The Department of Labor (DOL) has broad authority under ERISA to investigate or audit an employee benefit plan’s compliance with various federal laws. In connection with an investigation or audit, the DOL generally requires the submission of records or documents related to an employee benefit plan. Typically, an employer first learns that its employee benefit plan has been selected for a DOL audit when it receives a letter from the DOL explaining the audit and requesting certain records or documents.
Recently, the DOL has been using its investigative authority to enforce compliance with the health care reform law, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA). DOL audit letters have been requesting that health plan sponsors provide documents demonstrating compliance with ACA’s mandates.
ACA compliance requests
The DOL’s audit requests related to ACA compliance have been divided into three categories: (1) requests for grandfathered plans; (2) requests for non-grandfathered plans; and (3) requests for all health plans.
Long Island Employee Benefit Group can supply you with all the details that apply to these plans and guide you through the compliance process.
Employers that receive DOL audit letters may be surprised and overwhelmed by the number of documents requested by the DOL auditor. Typically, the audit letter will request that the documents be provided by a specific date. Although employers generally have no way of knowing whether they will be selected for a DOL audit, it is important for employers to retain documents that will help them respond to a DOL audit request in the event this occurs. Inadequate responses to the DOL could trigger additional document requests, interviews, on-site visits and even DOL enforcement actions.
In light of these risks, employers should be prepared to demonstrate their compliance with ACA by producing documents. LIEBG has a complete suite of services and tools that can assist your HR team with these vital documents to meet the compliance requirements.