February 18, 2014
Authored by: Denise Erwin and Lisa Van Fleet
The long awaited final regulations regarding the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act were released on February 10, 2014. They offer new transition relief and provide much needed guidance in several areas including how to determine which employees are “full-time” for purposes of the mandate. Although the 59 pages of regulations will surely provide ample fodder for numerous future posts, we’ll start with a rundown of some of the most notable provisions:
New Transition Relief
Employers with 50-99 full time employees have an additional year to comply
The new compliance date for these employers is January 1, 2016 (or the first day of new plan year beginning in 2016 for non-calendar year plans). In order to avail themselves of the transition relief, these employers must certify that they satisfy the following eligibility conditions:
- The employer must employ on average at least 50 full-time employees but fewer than 100 full-time employees on business days during 2014.
- The employer must not reduce the size of its workforce or the overall hours of service of its employees in order to satisfy the workforce size condition. A reduction for a bona fide business reason such as a sale of a division, a change in the economic marketplace in which the employer operates or a termination of employment for poor performance will not affect eligibility for the transition relief.
- The employer must not eliminate