Once an employee is entered into the Avionté application, ACA information is tracked throughout the year. The ACA Companion Application is used at year end to generate the tracked ACA information into reports.
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ACA Companion Application Setup Course
Click the image to access an interactive training course walking through the configuration of the ACA Companion Application.
ACA Tracking & Reporting Course
Click the image to access an interactive training course demonstrating the proper practices to track employees' ACA Eligibility, healthcare coverage offers, enrollments, and declinations in ACA Companion Application. This course also discusses the production and logic of the 1095-C form.
This article provides an overview of the Avionté ACA Companion application.
Previously, customers using Avionté to track, calculate, and report ACA insurance information managed their data through heavy use of Admin Tools. The new application provides a field-based, windows application to gather data, manage insurance offers, and generate ACA reports.
The steps below the training video outline how to get the new application, how to verify structure before importing existing ACA data, how to import data, and where to find help articles for ongoing usage.
This article also features an attached spreadsheet used by new clients to gathering ACA information. Click on the attachment at the bottom of the article to download the spreadsheet.
ACA Companion Application Training Video
Setup, Migration, Adoption, and Reporting
ACA Back to Basics Video
Follow the Steps below to initially install the ACA Companion application.
1. Request the ACA Companion Application
The ACA Companion application is available to any client that is contracted to use Avionté ACA services. If you would like to obtain ACA services, or are already contracted to use Avionté ACA services and would like access to the ACA Companion application, open a ticket in the Zendesk Support System by clicking Submit a Ticket in the upper-right of this screen.
2. Get the ACA Companion Application
Self-hosted customers - visit the ACA Companion Application Self-Hosted Deployment article for installation instructions. Each time a new release of the ACA Companion application is made available, a new version must be pulled to a self-hosted customer's environment. If a new Avionté Agent ACA package is made available, the old ACA package must be removed and replaced with the updated package. Following installation, return to this article's Step 3. Configure ACA Employer Data.
The ACA Companion application is available on a central Avionté Application Portal (rather than your company's specific Avionté Application Portal.) For instructions about how to connect to the Avionté Application Portal, visit the How to Connect to Avionté - Hosted Customers article.
Open the Avionté ACA Companion application from the portal.
If a database update is required to accommodate the ACA Companion application, an update prompt may display. If you do not have database permissions, contact Avionté Technical Support.
The update, which does NOT affect existing data, performs the following:
- The update enables the migration of existing ACA Employer data from your Core application into the new ACA Companion application
- The update adds structure to your database so the new ACA Companion application will function with your Core application.
During the download of the ACA Companion application (and subsequent database update, if needed), existing ACA Employer data is being transferred from your Core application into the ACA Companion application.
3. Configure ACA Employer Data
During the previous step, the download of the ACA Companion application also migrated the Employer/Supplier structure from the existing Avionté application into the ACA Companion application. An employer is frequently made up of suppliers. Each employer has its own FEIN and the suppliers are sub-categories to that employer.
Before continuing the ACA Companion application installation, the ACA employer structure must be verified or edited so the Companion application is ready to receive existing employer data.
- Navigate to the ACA employer tab.
- Click Edit.
- Edit information in the General section including Suppliers associated to the ACA employer.
- Edit information in the Eligibility section including measurement period lengths.
- Click Update.
- The Update button on the ACA employer setup tab must be clicked at least once for the import to continue.
4. Configure ACA Insurance Plan and Benefit Package Data
Before importing insurance data from the Core application into the ACA Companion application, your ACA Insurance plans should be verified or edited so the Companion application plan and benefit configuration is ready to receive existing data.
- Navigate to the Insurance plan tab.
- Click Add.
- Edit any information about insurance plans that will be offered to employees.
- The Update button on the Insurance plan setup page must be clicked at least once for the import to continue.
- Add any information about specific benefit packages that will be included in insurance plans offered to employees.
- This action maps the transaction types from the Core app to the ACA Companion application. Transaction types are mapped on the Benefit package setup tab.
- The Update button on the Benefit Package setup tab must be clicked at least once for the import to continue.
5. Import Employee Data
Now that the ACA Employer, Insurance plan, and Benefit package tabs have been configured to receive existing information, remaining data can be imported.
- Navigate to the Home tab to import existing ACA data from the Core application into the ACA Companion application.
- Click Import employee data to import employee data such as name, address, and SSN.
- Any employee with a valid Social Security Number will be imported. If the import encounters an employee with invalid data (8-digit SSN, two addresses, etc.), errors will be generated and a "View errors" link will display.
- Errors may be ignored, or addressed
- To ignore errors, click Skip errors and continue. If ignored, those employee records will not be created in the ACA Companion and a 1095-C will not be produced.
- To address errors:
- Run the ACA Companion Employee Sync Errors AQ in the core application in the Reports section.
- Review the Fix ACA Companion Employee Migration Errors article to learn about options for resolving these errors
- Address errors from the in the Core application (for example, an employee with two addresses can have the address edited in Main Menu > Employee > Detail > Edit)
- Following any changes in the Core application that addressed errors, click Reimport employee data to import the data edited in the Core application.
- Repeat as necessary until error messages no longer display
- This button is not available until the Import employee data button has been clicked at least once.
- If the import encounters invalid plan data (unknown contributions, etc.), an error message will be generated in the area next to the import buttons.
- To ignore errors, click Skip errors and continue
- To address errors
- Address them in the Core application (for example, an employees contributions and deductions can be edited in Main Menu > Employee > Payroll > Contribution)
- Click Reimport benefit data to import the data edited in the Core application.
- Repeat as necessary until error messages no longer display.
- Once the Benefit import process is complete, ACA benefit data may no longer be imported. From this point forward, the Import benefit data button on the Home tab will no longer be available and new benefit data must be manually added into the ACA Companion application.
- Newly added employee data may still be imported from the Core application and benefit data may be associated to the employee with the ACA Companion application.
- Employee plan details may now be managed in the ACA Companion application.
- Transaction type mappings in Insurance plan setup are now hidden.
- The Report preparation tab becomes available.
- A series of ACA-supporting background processes are now enabled in Avionté Agent.
The application is ready for use. Visit these ACA Companion application help articles for guidance:
ACA Companion Application Details
Some things to know about the ACA Companion Application
- The application is a WinForms utility created in the Microsoft .NET framework. A minimum .NET version of 4.6.2 is required to install and run the ACA Companion application.
- The application is 1024px x 768px. Your screen settings should be set high enough so you can access any controls at the bottom of the application.
- A minimum Avionté version of 14.2.8 is required to install and run the ACA Companion application. As always, clients are encouraged to run the latest version of Avionté suite (16.2 as of December 2016).
- The ACA Companion application works with data from the Core application including employee data and transaction types marked "IsHealthcare."
- The ACA Companion application is included in Avionté's ACA package. If you pay for ACA services, the application is included.
- Each tab in the application features a content-sensitive help link. Click the in the upper-right to open a help article for that specific tab.
Updating the ACA Companion Application
Just like the conventional Avionté application, the ACA Companion application is occasionally updated with improvements or to accommodate regulation changes. Avionté notifies customers when a new version of the application has been released and publishes release notes detailing what was changed. Visit the ACA Companion Application Release Notes article for release information about the application.
When a Companion application release becomes available, Avionté-hosted customers do not need to perform any downloads or upgrades, but do have to restart the Companion application if it is open during the release.
Self-hosted customers will have to retrieve the Companion application from the FTP file that hosts the Companion application and, if the release involves a change to Agent, will have to install the most recent ACA package to the Agent environment. Visit the Update Agent section of the Avionté Agent article for update instructions.
Self-hosted customers can check the version of the Companion application by using Windows utilities in the downloaded Companion application file.
- In Windows folders, access the downloaded ACA Companion application folder.
- Right-click on the AvionteACACompanion.exe file to open a Windows Menu.
- Click Properties. A Properties utility window displays.
- Open the Details tab on the Windows utility window.
- View the Product version to see what version of the Companion application exists in the folder.
- Visit the ACA Companion Application Release Notes article to view the most recently available Companion application version.