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Date: July 8, 2016

Bulletin Number: 1492

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Subject New Employer Federal Reporting Guidelines for the Affordable Care Act and NYS New Hire Reporting

Purpose To explain the new functionality to the New York State Payroll System (PayServ) and procedures surrounding the new required fields needed for compliance with Federal and State reporting. The new functionality will also result in changes to the Automated Interface process.

Affected Employees

All Employees.
Effective Date(s)

All Automated Interface (AI) transaction files submitted after 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 will be processed in accordance with the changes described in this Bulletin. 

All online transactions submitted after 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 will be processed in accordance with the changes described in this Bulletin.

Background Due to Federal reporting requirements, the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) must capture and report if an employee is eligible for health insurance coverage and the date the employee is eligible for that coverage.

Therefore, new functionality has been added to PayServ to capture and report this data.  

The new fields created for this functionality, Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage and Date Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage will be used by New York State, in part, to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act section 6056 for information reporting.  New York State, designated as an Applicable Large Employer (ALE), must provide forms 1095C to all full time employees and the IRS, which includes employee identifiable information regarding the health insurance coverage offered. The IRS can impose substantial ALE penalties for failure to comply with reporting requirements. Therefore, it is very important that health insurance eligibility be reported timely and accurately.

As a result, the Date of Birth field will now be a required field for all new hires. Agencies will not be able to complete a hire transaction without entering the employee's date of birth. Additionally, if any changes to an existing employee's personal data are made, the Date of Birth field must be populated by the agency if it is blank

These changes will also impact the automated interface file. OSC is not changing the layout of the file, but using filler fields within the layout. Additional AI information is below.

New Functionality When hiring an employee, agencies must enter information in the following fields to capture the health insurance eligibility status. This applies to New Hires, Concurrent Hires, Re-Hires, and certain Return From Leave (RFL) actions. If the new fields are populated when a RFL action is performed, the data in those fields will roll forward and be open for edits if needed. If the fields are empty when a RFL action occurs, then agencies will be required to enter information in the new fields.

Changes to Current Fields Used For The New Hire Process:

Date of Birth is Now Required for All Employees Upon Hire

This field is found on the Hire (Agency) page, Personal Data tab, Biographic Information section. Agencies must enter a Date of Birth for all employees upon hiring an employee or they will encounter a hard stop error that prevents them from completing the transaction until the Date of Birth field is filled out. For the New Hire Process the message "Birthdate should be entered for person. (1000, 167)" will display if the Birthdate is missing. Existing employees are impacted by this and must be updated if a change is made to their personal data and the Date of Birth field is blank. This change was made so that the Date of Birth will be reflected for all employees.

Effective Date:
This field is found on the Hire (Agency) page, Personal Data tab, Biographical History section. Agencies must re-enter the hire effective date in this field.   

New Fields Added To The New Hire Process:

Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage
This field is found on the Hire (Agency) page, Benefit Program
Participation tab, Benefits Administrator Eligibility section. A drop down menu will require “Yes or No” to be checked. Employees appointed or elected to a position in State service who work at least half time or more, are considered eligible for coverage.

Date Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage
This field is found on the Hire (Agency) page, Benefit Program Participation tab, Benefits Administrator Eligibility section. If ‘Yes” is selected for the above, this date field must be completed.

If data is missing for the “Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage” field or that field’s value is ‘Y’ and data is missing for the “Date Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage” field, then the message “Field is required. (15, 8)” will appear.

To compute the date eligible, refer to the following:

Group

Waiting Period

Date Eligible

Council 82
CSEA
DC-37
PIA
UCS
UUP**
All Others

42 days
42 days
42 days
42 days
42 days
42 days
56 days

43rd day
43rd day
43rd day
43rd day
43rd day
43rd day
57th day

* Refer to the NYSHIP General Information Book for complete eligibility requirements.

**The 42-day waiting period for otherwise eligible newly hired academic employees will begin on the actual day of professional obligation, but not earlier than September 15th.

Note: Agencies will no longer be able to save data on these pages without completing these fields.
 
New Functionality Changes To :

  • Concurrent Hire Process
  • Re-Hire Process
  • Return from Leave Process

If an Agency uses the Concurrent Hire or Re-Hire action codes, a subsequent action will be required to check ("Yes or No") for the "Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage" field (similar to the new hire process previously mentioned) and "Date Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage" field (if eligible).

The Return From Leave action code will allow the two new fields to be open and editable so that values that were rolled forward can be updated if they are incorrect. However, it is ONLY mandatory to update the new fields when they are empty.

Adding a Reason Code to Data Change: Reason ACA (Affordable Care Act):

A new reason code has been created for changes to an Employee's Job Data - ACA. If an existing employee's health insurance eligibility status were to change, updates to the two newly created fields can be submitted through the Job Actions Request page using Data Change/ACA. The two fields are:

  • Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage and
  • Date Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage
OSC Actions On September 14, 2016, OSC will initially populate the new fields (Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage and Date Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage) with information provided by the Department of Civil Service.

OSC will also create a new query to allow agencies to evaluate the eligibility status of their employees so that updates can be made if necessary. The query and additional guidance on its use will be released in an upcoming bulletin prior to the New Hire Reporting functionality implementation.

Agency Actions – Automated Interface Review and make the necessary changes to the Automated Interface file to comply with the new field requirements when submitting Automated Interface files to PayServ for processing NHRP573.

These changes impact the field data values for the following Automated Interface submissions:

Health Insurance Eligibility

  • New Hire transactions
  • Rehire, Concurrent Hire transactions
  • Certain Return from Leave transactions; if updates to the fields are needed
  • New Data Change transaction
    (The new Data Change transaction code, ACA (Affordable Care Act) was created to add changes to two new fields, if necessary.)

Date of Birth

  • New Hire transactions
  • Changes to Personal Data (when the Date of Birth field is blank)

Agencies using the returned Automated Interface Feedback Files and Reports [NHRP574A & NHRP574B] will also need to modify their processing of these to include the new fields.

Agencies wishing to test their changes can submit a request to Payroll System Questions mailboxto coordinate a testing time.

NHRP573 File Layout
NHRP574 File Layout

OSC Actions – Automated Interface Automated Interface Changes to the Hire Process:
The new “Eligible for health insurance coverage field” is required. It is a character field and length of 1 and will be on the NHRP573 file as position 1317. The values are ‘1’ (Yes) or ‘2’ (No).

The “Date employee is eligible for coverage” field is required if the value of the first field is ‘1’ (Yes). It is a character field and length of 8 characters and will be on the NHRP573 file as position 1318 - 1325. Its format is ‘YYYYMMDD’.

The Birthdate is now required to be populated on the NHRP573 and will cause an error if not populated for New Hire or Personal Data transactions if the Date of Birth field is blank. It is a date field and length of 8 characters and will be on the NHRP573 file as position 1309 - 1316. Its format is 'YYYYMMDD'.

Automated Interface Changes To:

  • Concurrent Hire Process
  • Re-Hire Process
  • Certain Return from Leave Processes
  • Changes to Job Requests for Data Change with Reason ACA:

The new “Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage” field is required for the types of automated interface changes noted above, except for certain Return From Leave Processes. For RFL transactions; the character fields will be designated to accommodate changes to the status of the two new fields, but it is NOT mandatory for RFL transactions if the fields have already been populated in prior rows. It is a character field and length of 1 and will be on the NHRP573 file as position 1317. The values are ‘1’ (Yes) or ‘2’ (No).

The “Date employee is eligible for coverage” field is required if the value of the first field is ‘1’ (Yes). It is a character field and length of 8 characters and will be on the NHRP573 file as position 1318 - 1325. Its format is ‘YYYYMMDD’.

Changes to the Automated Interface Feedback File / Report (NHRP574A&B):
Includes new messages for the new required fields. The complete list of new and revised Automated Interface messages is included at the end of this Bulletin.

For any of the applicable processes listed above: if data is missing for the first new field or the first new field’s value is ‘1’ and data is missing for the second new field then the message “Field is required. (15, 8)” will appear on the NHRP574 Error Transactions report.

For the New Hire Process the message “Birthdate should be entered for person. (1000, 167)” will display on the NHRP574 Error Transactions report if the Birthdate is missing.

If value for Date Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage is populated with a Date value when value for Eligible for  Health Insurance Coverage is 2 (N), there will be the message “Date Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage not required when Eligible is N. (28000, 128)”

The new PayServ message  will read as follows:

Msg Set

Msg Nbr

Msg Text

Explanatory Text

28000

128

Date Eligible for  Health Insurance Coverage not required when Eligible is N.

The value for Date Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage not required when value for Eligible for Health Insurance Coverage is 2 (N).


Questions Questions regarding this bulletin may be emailed to the Payroll Earnings mailbox.

Questions regarding AI changes in this bulletin may be directed to the Payroll System Questions mailbox.