Healthcare Reform: Questions and Answers on Recent Changes

 What does the delay of the Employer Shared Responsibility provision mean to employers with more than 50 or more FT (or full-time equivalent) employees?

  1. The delay in the employer shared responsibility penalties means that employers will NOT incur penalties if they do not offer minimum value, affordable coverage (9.5% of annual salary) to at least 95% of their full time employees for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. The effective date has been delayed to January 1, 2015.


Are any of the other provisions of the legislation delayed or impacted?

  1. No provisions of the legislation other than the employer mandate penalty have been delayed, so employers will still need to ensure that their benefit plan offerings are in alignment with applicable provisions, Beal Benefits is making sure that ALL your benefit plans meet all guidelines at your renewal date. All employees are still REQUIRED to purchase coverage in 2014, or be fined in 2015 tax year (minimum of $95.00 if they have a refund)


As an employer am I still required to provide a minimum value, affordable plan in 2014?

  1. NO, While the government has encouraged employers to continue to offer minimum value, affordable coverage in 2014, there is no penalty assessed for the 2014 plan year if they do not.


Does this apply to all size employers?

  1. The ER mandate applied to employers with 50 or more FT or FT equivalent employees. So the delay provides relief to those employers.


Are the IRS guidelines for the definition of full time employees, those working 30 hours or more, delayed?

  1. The 30 hour per week definition of “full-time employee” only applies to the employer mandate, which has been delayed for one year.


What impact does this news have on the 30-hour-per-week definition of full-time employees?

  1. The IRS guidance outlining the definition of a full-time and part-time employee is unaffected by the employer shared responsibility penalty and employer reporting delay.


Written by Tom Beal of Beal Benefit Solutions.

*All information above is current as of 9/26/13, please check back or call our office for updated information as Healthcare Reform is constantly evolving, and Tom works very hard to stay up to date on every little detail.


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