On February 12, 2014, the Treasury Department issued a “Fact Sheet and Final Regulations” that clarified the compliance landscape of the Affordable Care Act.
Highlights of this fact sheet and final regulations include:
- The employer mandate, previously postponed for one year (from 1/1/2014 to 1/1/2015) has now been further modified. For employers of 50-99 employees, the compliance mandate has been postponed from 1/1/2015 to 1/1/2016. For employers of 100 or more employees, the compliance date remains 1/1/2015, but in a further twist, is now modified to the first of the plan year beginning on or after 1/1/2015, rewarding all those employers who guessed this would happen and modified their plans late last year to a December 1 anniversary date.
- The time period employers may use during 2014 for averaging their full-time employee counts to determine which category they fall in (<50, 50-99, or 100>) has been liberalized significantly as well. While previously an employer had to consider all 12 months in this averaging calculation, now they may use any consecutive 6 month period of their choosing between 1/1/14 and 12/31/14. This may become an “escape hatch” to qualify for the one-year additional delay for some organizations with highly seasonal or variable workforces.
- For employers of 100 employees or more, the requirement to offer coverage to at least 95% of eligibles is reduced for the initial compliance plan year (beginning first of the plan year on or after 1/1/2015) to at least 70% of eligibles.
For more information on determining whether an employer is subject to the employer shared responsibility regulations, click here.
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