I guess delays have come to be expected with Health Reform. Well, on February 10, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service released the final employer responsibility rule, together with a fact sheet and a series of questions and answers about the rule. The rule finalizes rules proposed late in December 2012.
Although the rule contains a number of transition provisions, three provisions seem to be getting the most attention – for good reason.
- The rule postpones until 2016 the application of the mandate for employers with between 50 and 99 employees, as long as employers do not intentionally reduce their workforce to avoid the rule.
- The rule extends for a year transition relief originally available for 2014, allowing employers who have not heretofore offered affordable and adequate dependent coverage an additional year until 2016 in which to add it.
- The rule will not penalize large employers that cover at least 70 percent of their full-time employees for 2015, giving them until 2016 to cover 95 percent of their full-time workers.
Other transition rules affect new employers and employers with non-calendar year benefit plans.