IRS Delays Employers’ Deadline to Distribute ACA Reporting Form 1095 to Employees

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, requires certain employers to offer health insurance coverage to full-time employees and their dependents. In addition, those employers must send an annual statement to all employees eligible for coverage describing the insurance available to them. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) created Form 1095-C to serve as this annual statement.

The health care law defines which employers must offer health insurance to their workers. The law refers to them as “applicable large employers” or ALEs. A company is an ALE if it has at least 50 full-time workers or full-time equivalents. A full-time worker, according to the law, is someone who works at least 30 hours a week. Only ALEs are required to file Form 1095-C.

Every employee of an ALE who is eligible for insurance coverage should receive a 1095-C.

The 1095-C identifies the employee and the employer, which months during the year the employee was eligible for coverage, and the cost of the cheapest monthly premium the employee could have paid under the plan.

Form 1095-C (sent out by the employer) merely describes what coverage was made available to an employee. A separate form, the 1095-B (sent out by the insurance provider), provides details about an employee’s actual insurance coverage, including who in the worker’s family was covered (dependents).

Employers send the forms not only to their eligible employees but also to the IRS.

Employees are supposed to receive their forms by the end of January however, the IRS extended the deadline to deliver ACA reporting forms to employees from Jan. 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017.

The extended deadline applies to furnishing to individuals 2016 Form 1095-C (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage) and Form 1095-B (Health Coverage).

Sources: Intuit TurboTax: What is Form 1095-C: Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage

Workplace Minute – Surviving Day One

Today’s workplace minute will cover tips on surviving day one at your new job.

Things you should take with you:

  • Notebook & Pen
  • Lunch
  • Bottle of Water
  • Cash (Vending Machine)

TIP: Pick out you day one outfit the night before!

  1. Wake up nice and early, eat a good breakfast, and get ready for the day ahead.
  2. Check the weather report to avoid any potential clothing mishaps and commute delays.
  3. Aim to arrive at work at least 10 minutes before your scheduled shift but no earlier than 20.
  4. Sort out your work area, have your notebook and pen handy and be sure to take notes.
  5. Say hello to your new colleagues, introduce yourselves with a smile and use this time to ask questions.
  6. Be prepared to be thrown into the mix! Most employers give their newbies a work task on day one.
  7. If you are invited to an office meeting, be sure to take notes.
  8. Staying super late will not impress your boss. Stay for your shift, perhaps a wee bit longer depending on business needs, go home and reflect on everything you learned on day one. Set the example early.

TIP: Ask questions if you are not sure about something, but make an attempt to figure out the problem yourself. Doing so shows initiative!

Remember… your first week, especially your first day will be overwhelming. Whenever it feels like a bit much, take a moment to yourself for a breather. It will make a world of a difference.

Workplace Minute – Workplace Stress

It’s normal to get stressed out time to time at the workplace. It is how you handle the stress that determines the gravity of the situation.

Here are a few tips to help improve and banish workplace stress:

  • Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.
  • Learn to manage your emotions instead of letting them manage you.
  • Remind yourself of what’s really important in life.
  • Try looking at situations from different points of view.
  • Learn to say “no.”
  • Stop procrastinating.
  • Avoid negative people as much as possible.
  • Get clear on your life goals and take a small step toward those goals every day.
  • Learn to prioritize.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Don’t try to control what is uncontrollable.

These along with previously mentioned tips: Workplace Minute – Workplace Stress (Nov.) can help alleviate some of that stress and get you moving in the right direction.

Your morning routine… does it help or hinder?

So it’s Monday. You’re probably thinking… “wonderful” [insert sarcasm], right?14724e0ee9f1a6ffbf56507154cbc637

Well… that is a sure way to start off your entire week pretty blah.

The reality is there are the people who love what they do, and there are the people who aren’t pretty hyped up on their current work situation. If you’re of the latter, my advice to you is to make the most of your current situation until that situation is changed. (Absolutely NO complaining if you keep yourself in a situation that you are unhappy with.)

So whether you love your current work situation (or loathe it), here are some routines you can implement to start off your week smoothly and set up for a productive week.

Get a head start on tomorrow, TONIGHT.
Planning your week on Sunday night gives you a head start on being prepared for the upcoming week. This means you have more time Monday morning to focus and get the ball rolling on the week you’re facing. Would you rather wake up in the wee hours of Monday planning your week or take advantage of the alone time that peaks up Sunday evening? I plan my entire week Sunday night. Of course, things come up throughout the week however, to have my MIT’s (Most Important Things) covered and a plan in which I can throw in the pop-up items, that helps make my week progress swimmingly.

Start your day in bed.
Okay so this one is a catch 22. Some have the ability to do this, some don’t. If your lifestyle allows this then by all means, take advantage! I am inundated with emails on Monday morning (and pretty much every morning of the week). Rather than wasting my first hour at work, stuck in my office sorting through my inbox, I tackle those suckers first thing in the AM. If you are fortunate enough not to be attached to your inbox, I am green with envy! Today, email, despite many reports that email is an ancient form of communication, is still a fundamental part of my position and I think it’s fair to say for most exempt positions, especially those primarily remote positions.

If you aren’t going to get a head start, start your day by planning what needs to get done.
A morning routine can be particularly important to setting up your day in the best way. Your morning routine can include everything that is important to you, personal, family and work. One of the most important aspects of planning your day is to determine your MIT’s for the day/week. Also, flexibility is essential. Your morning routine can be tweaked but should generally remain consistent. Consistency forms habits.

Don’t skip over breakfast.
When designing the best way for you to start your week, be sure to include a GOOD BREAKFAST. Your body needs fuel. Be sure to include a breakfast regimen to get your body and brain ready to work. This could be a fruit, protein bar, something to get your energy up. Breakfast doesn’t have to be a chore, make it fast, easy, but effective.

Sleep as well as you can.
Sleep is also essential in getting your body ready for the upcoming day. My daily routine includes being asleep by 10:30pm on weekdays. (You can stop looking at your screen crazy now.) I know myself well enough to know that if I do not get a certain amount of hours of sleep, it will throw my day off completely. Once again, circumstances can refrain from such an “early” sleep time however, to have a well rested body plays an essential part in your work performance. Consider the total hours of sleep you get, even conduct your own experiment to determine how sleep affects you.

Switch yourself off at night by turning off those pesky phone notifications.
DISENGAGE. DISCONNECT. Give yourself time away from your electronic communication devices. No, you don’t need to check your Facebook newsfeed, and your Instagram will be there tomorrow. (Most of you are NOT checking your email.) I am guilty of this, but awareness is key and so I have incorporated a daily habit of shutting down at 10:00pm. It’s improved as most of the time I don’t look at my phone after 9:00pm.

Android has the perfect feature called “Blocking Mode.” Read up on it Android users and USE IT. When you activate “Blocking Mode” notifications for selected features will be turned off. I have mine auto-activate starting at 10:30pm and deactivate at 7:00am. This shuts off all notifications and turns off the LED Light Notifications.

If Apple’s iPhone has a similar feature that you know of, please feel free to describe in the comments section their version of “Blocking Mode”.


and finally…

Track your habits to understand yourself.
Track your habits for a week to find the insight you need to improve your routine. What can you do to improve your current routine? What can you incorporate in your routine to make it better?

Understanding how you live right now, can help you to work towards how you want to live.

Do you have tips for improving your daily routine? What does your routine look like right now? Let us know in the comments.

Workplace Minute – Working Better

MINUTESome quick tips on how to work better:

  • Do one thing at a time
  • Know the problem
  • Learn to listen
  • Learn to ask questions
  • Distinguish sense from nonsense
  • Accept change as inevitable
  • Learn to be open to change
  • Admit mistakes
  • Say it simple
  • Be calm
  • SMILE!

Now put this knowledge into practice to improve how you work!

What does your non-verbal communication say about you?

I can’t express enough that it’s more than what you say, it is how you say it. It is in your tone, in your conviction within the message you are sending, and most importantly, in what the receiver of the message sees, your non-verbal message, your body language.

Dealing with people on a daily basis, and no shortage of people walking in and out of my office, I place reading non-verbal cues as the main focus of all conversations. Also through experience, it has become apparent that an individual’s non-verbal communication will determine the weight placed on what is being said. Non-verbal communication, body language, plays a huge role in conversation outcomes. Wordless signals hold just as much, sometimes more, weight and power than verbal messages.

What does this mean… in a nutshell?

The way you look, listen, move, and react tells the other person whether or not you care, if you’re being truthful, and how well you’re listening. When your nonverbal signals match up with the words you’re saying, they increase trust, rapport, and clarity. When they don’t, they generate mistrust, tension, and confusion.

Right now what is important is that you acknowledge not only the importance of your verbal cues, but your non-verbal cues as well. Every interaction requires preparation. When preparing, keep in mind, there are two messages being sent at all times, verbal and non-verbal. Be sure to lay out a plan for both.

The infographic below presented by American Express Open Forum lists 6 body language mistakes to avoid. Self-awareness is key. If any of the mistakes listed are habits you have picked up, take note and make appropriate corrections. Your body language could be the reason you are turned down for a promotion, even a raise.

Click on the infographic to view full size.