If you should have any questions regarding above, please contact Mark Flanagan of Aronson’s Employee Benefit Plan Services Group at 301.231.6257.
The Obama Administration has announced the delay of the employer mandate/pay-or-play provisions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) until January 1, 2015. Previously, employers with 50 or more full time equivalent employees were required to offer affordable health insurance to employees working more than thirty hours a week by January 1 or pay a “penalty” to the IRS. A $2,000/per employee penalty results when an employee receives a premium subsidy when purchasing coverage on one of the health insurance exchanges.
Presumably, the goal of the delay is to allow the federal government to simplify the various reporting requirements associated with the employer mandate and allow employers to better understand and prepare for its impact. Unfortunately, procrastination seems to be the norm when employers are faced with difficult decisions, and only time will tell if employers use this additional time wisely.
It is important to note that
There has been a lot of discussion in the media and on the Hill about federal regulations that could require religious organizations to cover the cost of contraceptives under their health care plans. The IRS has published the final regulations authorizing the exemption of group health plans and group health insurance coverage sponsored by certain religious employers from having to cover contraceptive services under provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. These final regulations are effective on April 16, 2012.
The final regulations specified that, for purposes of this exemption, a religious employer is one that: (1) has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; (2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets; (3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and (4) is a non-profit organization described in section 6033(a)(1) and section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii) of the Code.
The final regulations also created a temporary enforcement safe harbor to accommodate organizations that don’t meet the above definition and have religious objections to covering contraceptive services. During the temporary enforcement safe harbor, the Federal departments plan to develop and propose changes to these final regulations that would meet two goals – providing contraceptive coverage without cost-sharing to individuals who want it and accommodating non-exempted, non-profit organizations’ religious objections to covering contraceptive services.
We have been following the progress of the bill to repeal the burdensome 1099 Reporting Provision that would have required companies to file a 1099-Misc for every vendor for any cumulative annual amount of $600 or more. The provision was expected to contribute $19 billion toward paying for healthcare reform but was widely critisized for the intense reporting effort it would require. With the President signing this bill, the funds will be collected from people who will have to repay excess amounts claimed above and beyond what they were entitled under the healthcare reform.
One of the components of the 2010 Health Care legislation included significantly expanded 1099 reporting requirements. The new rule would be that all corporations and organizations would have to report purchases over $600 and on rental real estate. The Senate and the House had dueling versions of bills to repeal the additional reporting requirements and spent a year duking it out. The Senate approved a modified version in February and the House has now approved it as well. The next stop is the President’s desk.