The qualifying offer method is a more complex way of saying that the employer offers a health insurance plan that meets the minimum value requirement where the cost to the employee is less than 9.5 % of the federal poverty level. In addition to this, the employer must offer the plan to all members of the employee’s family (spouse and dependents) to be eligible to use this reporting method.
Employers that provide a Qualifying Offer all year long for their employees are eligible to use a special alternative employee statement.
Why opt for the Qualifying Offer Method?
By using this method, employers can shortcut the employee reporting requirement by only entering the name, address, and SSN of their employees along with a code to indicate they received the qualifying offer all year long.
If an employer made a qualifying offer to at least 95% of all full‐time employees and allowed spouse + dependents to enroll in the plan, the employer will be permitted to use the simpler Qualifying Offer Method reporting for all employees, including those who did not receive a qualifying offer for the entire year. This transition relief is only allowed for 2015, so take advantage of it if you qualify.
In short, the Qualifying Offer Method was created to simplify the ACA reporting process by allowing employers that offer exceptionally affordable coverage to shortcut some of the ACA reporting requirements.