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PPACA / Obamacare

PPACA / Obamacare

With the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare, many businesses are faced with new and unique challenges. Navigating these new changes and ensuring compliance can be challenging, but we are here to help.  Some things to consider:

– For all open enrollment periods beginning on or after September 23, 2012, ALL employers providing health insurance must provide employees with a Summary of Benefits and Coverage and a Uniform Glossary on the first day of the open enrollment period.  Under certain circumstances, these can be provided to employees electronically.

– W-2’s currently being compiled for 2012 and handed out in January 2013, MUST include the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage for companies giving out 250 or more W-2’s

– Beginning in January 2014, employers with more than 50 full time employees, or “Full Time Equivalents,” must provide “Affordable” health insurance that provides “Minimum Essential Coverage.”  Importantly, the Initial Measurement Period to look-back and determine which employees must be included in this and other calculations can be up to one-year – Thus starting as early as January 1, 2013.

*Other considerations in this regard is the use of Seasonal and Variable-Hour Employees; the legality of planned staffing changes under this and other laws (i.e.: ERISA).

*UPDATE* – The IRS and Department of the Treasury issued 144 pages of new proposed regulations.  Included in therein, are several Transitional Relief options available to delay penalties under Section 4980H for certain fiscal year plans as well as modified measurement periods for 2013.

– Starting January 1, 2013, – Employers will no longer receive a tax deduction for subsidizing prescription drug expenses for retirees.

– No later than March 1, 2013, ALL employers, regardless of size, must provide employees with written notice of the availability of healthcare “Exchanges.”  There are specific requirements for the information and wording contained in these notices.  *UPDATE* – The DOL postponed this notice requirement until later this year.

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