Your Business: Employers should start planning for Affordable Care Act by Steve Gerlach

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Originally published in the Portland Press Herald on July 3, 2012.

The landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court upheld all of the Affordable Care Act except a portion of the Medicaid expansion. Although the headlines focused on the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion, perhaps the most far reaching effects on employers will come from the pay-or-play provisions.

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, these provisions require employers with 50 or more full-time employees to provide affordable health coverage for employees and pay 60 percent of the cost, or pay an excise tax to the IRS ($2,000 to 3,000 per employee per year).

Under these rules, "full time" means 30 or more hours per week. Other employees are pro-rated and seasonal employees are generally excluded.

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