While the federal government remained on shutdown mode, the House Small Business Committee, Subcommittee on Health and Technology held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss how the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) definition of “full-time employee” will impact small businesses. Under the healthcare law’s employer responsibility requirements – commonly known as the “pay-or-play” provisions – an employer with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees will be required to provide health insurance that meets certain ACA standards to at least 95% of their full-time employees starting in 2015, or pay a penalty. The ACA considers a worker “full time” if he or she works 30 hours or more per week, as opposed to the customary 40 hours used in other employment statutes and regulations.
Articles Discussing Health Care Reform.
Although the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) “employer mandate” has been delayed until 2015, health insurance exchanges are still scheduled to start offering health coverage to individuals and employees of small businesses starting January 1, 2014. Open enrollment in these Health Insurance Marketplaces will begin on October 1, 2013. The ACA requires employers to send a Notice to their current employees advising them about the Health Insurance Marketplaces by October 1, 2013. With this Marketplace Notice deadline fast approaching, employers may have a number of questions about the scope of their obligations. This ASAP addresses some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding this Notice requirement.
In a move that is likely to deepen labor’s disenchantment with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Obama administration on Friday rejected some union leaders’ call to apply certain ACA tax subsidies to participants in multi-employer health plans. On Wednesday, delegates to the AFL-CIO conference adopted a resolution outlining its concerns with the ACA. The resolution calls for, among other changes, an amendment that would allow non-profit multiemployer plans to have the same access to the ACA’s premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions as other health plans. Without subsidies, these multi-employer plans will likely be comparatively more expensive for union workers who participate in these plans, thereby leading these workers to obtain insurance through the future health exchanges instead.
The coming implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may result in unintended consequences at the state level in reference to worker’s compensation designs and regulations.
The Internal Revenue Service has released its final rule governing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) shared responsibility provision requiring most individuals to obtain minimal essential health coverage or pay a penalty, commonly referred to as the individual mandate. Although the employer mandate has been delayed until 2015, the effective date of the individual mandate remains January 1, 2014.
The Internal Revenue Service has issued a proposed rule that aims to provide guidance on the small business tax credit under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA added section 45R to the Internal Revenue Code, which offers a tax credit to certain small employers that provide insured health coverage to their employees.
On July 2, 2013, in a surprise move, the Department of the Treasury announced that it is delaying the Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer pay-or-play mandate and accompanying employer reporting requirements by one year. Accordingly, employers will not be subject to penalties for failing to offer full-time employees healthcare coverage that meets certain standards until 2015. Under Section 4980H of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), “applicable large employers” must offer their full-time employees “minimum essential coverage” that provides “minimum value” and is “affordable” or pay a penalty. The question of whether to play by offering such coverage or pay the penalty has become an important issue for many employers, and one that involves strategic choices about benefits structure and workforce composition. The delay comes as a relief to employers who were scrambling to prepare for the mandate’s 2014 effective date. While the delay is certainly welcome news for employers, it does not mean that they can ignore the ACA or the critical decisions it calls upon employers to make.
A recently released Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) information letter (EEOC Letter),1 along with the new final wellness regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), present new challenges for employer-provided wellness programs.
Executive Summary: The Obama Administration has released formal guidance on the delay of the Affordable Care Act’s (the “ACA”) employer mandate and certain reporting requirements.
Executive Summary: The Obama Administration has announced that implementation of the penalties under the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) employer mandate (also known as the “pay or play” penalties) have been delayed until 2015.
Executive Summary: The Affordable Care Act added section 18B to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires certain employers to send out notices to employees regarding the availability of the state-based Health Insurance Exchanges (“Exchange Notice”). Under the FLSA, these Exchange Notices were supposed to be provided to employees no later than March 1, 2013. However, on January 24, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance delaying the Exchange Notice requirement until the summer or fall of 2013.
Executive Summary: The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently announced that full implementation of the SHOP component of the state-based health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) run in full or in part by the federal government will be delayed until 2015. States setting up their own exchanges will be given the option to elect to similarly delay full implementation of their SHOPs until 2015.
With 2013 in full swing, now is an excellent time to begin preparing for the changes that will take place as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Although most of these changes are set to take place in 2014, there is one important change that is right around the corner. Beginning on March 1, 2013, all employers with 50 or more full-time employees will be required to provide each employee at the time of hiring ‘ or, with respect to current employees, not later than March 1, 2013’ with written notice, in plain language, of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including
Executive Summary: With the reelection of President Obama, health care reform is here to stay. Challenges to the law are still pending; however, employers need to comply with existing requirements and begin preparations for compliance with future requirements. In addition, new guidance and regulations are likely imminent.
Today, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate provision of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as a valid tax, imposed within Congress’ taxing power. See Nat’l Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius (No. 11-393, June 28, 2012). The Court held that the individual mandate (which requires most Americans to purchase insurance or face an IRS tax) is not a penalty because the only consequence of not complying with the mandate is the requirement to pay the tax. Although the Court also held that Congress exceeded the power granted to it under the Commerce Clause when it enacted the individual mandate, the provision is nevertheless valid under Congress’ taxing authority. The Court also held that the Anti-Injunction Act does not preclude the Court from ruling on the issue because the PPACA does not require that the penalty for failing to comply with the individual mandate be treated as a tax for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. Chief Justice Roberts authored the majority opinion.