Health Care Reform – New Guidance For Employers And Relief For Mid-Size Employers

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Employers in all industries are well aware of the complexities of the Affordable Care Act, and the seemingly constant barrage of guidance that interprets the health care reform requirements that apply to them.  We have a recent perfect example.  A lengthy final rule was issued on February 12, 2014, jointly by the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service ("Final Rule"). 

The Final Rule does not delay the fundamental obligation of large employers (i.e., those with 100 or more employees) to offer minimum value, affordable group health plan coverage to their full time employees (i.e., employees working 30 or more hours per week) in 2015 in order to avoid penalties.  But the Final Rule does delay this obligation for mid-size employers with between 50 and 99 employees until 2016.  This is welcome relief for those mid-size companies.

The Final Rule also addresses many lingering questions about how employees' working hours must be counted under the Affordable Care Act.  Some of the categories of employees which have been most administratively problematic and for which we now have more certainty include the following: 

  • Seasonal Employees
  • Variable Hour Employees
  • Independent Contractors
  • Adjunct Faculty
  • Employees with Layover Hours
  • Employees with On-Call Hours
  • Temporary Employees Hired Through Staffing Firms

I will provide an update on this new Final Rule and cover other similar developments during my presentation on the Affordable Care Act – What Employers Need to Know, at the 19th Annual Akerman Labor & Employment Law Seminar. Hope to see you there!

Topics:  Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, Employer Mandates, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, Pay or Play, Shared Responsibility Rule

Published In: Health Updates, Labor & Employment Updates, Tax Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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