Breaking with long standing tradition—i.e., issuing important rules on a Friday before a holiday weekend, or (failing that) any Friday (hence the reference to Week 45½ in this post)—the Treasury Department and the IRS today issued a 227-page final regulation under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility (a/k/a “pay-or-play”) rules. From the perspective of affected employers (i.e., those with 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees), this new rule is arguably the single most important to be issued under the Act.
A fact sheet issued by the Treasury Department along with the final regulations provides some context for the new rules and alerts readers to some of the highlights, which include:
Clarifications regarding whether employees of certain types or in certain occupations are considered full-time
Rules governing seasonal employees and adjunct faculty members
A delayed effective date for employers with at least 50 but fewer than 100 full-time employees, and
Additional transition rules.
In the next few weeks we will be parsing this new final regulation, explaining its key provisions, and speculating about how affected employers might comply.