Employers and others concerned about the financial, reporting and other burdens of complying with the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ACA) “pay-or-play” employer shared responsibility rules imposed under Internal Revenue Code (Code) § 4980H and other rules should review and consider letting their elected representatives and other Senate leaders know if they support the ACA corrections H.R. 4, the “Jobs For America Act” (Act). With key leadership appointments completed for both Houses for when the new Congress takes office January 3, 2014, now is a key time for businesses and others to let Senate and other leaders know what businesses see as the key legislative priorities that Congress should enact over the next six months.
Pending in the Senate since the House passed it on September 13, 2014, the Act as passed by the House would modify ACA. Among other things, the Act would:
- Raise from 30 to 40 hours per week the number of hours per week that an employee would need to work to count as a “full-time employee” for purposes of Code § 4980H’s employer “pay-or play” shared responsibility rule requirement that employers to provide health care coverage for their full-time employees;
- Amend the Code to let an employer, for purposes of determining whether such employer is an applicable large employer and thus required to provide health care coverage to its employees under ACA to exclude employees who have coverage under a health care program administered by the Department of Defense (DOD), including TRICARE, or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); and
- Repeal of Medical Device Excise Tax on medical devices.
The Act also provides for enactment of numerous reforms beyond these specifically relevant to health care that Congressional supporters say will reduce burdens on business that cost jobs by undermining the competitiveness of U.S. businesses and workers.
While President Obama has vowed to veto any attempt by Republicans that he perceives would roll back the reforms enacted as part of ACA, many members of Congress have expressed support for tightening the definition of full-time employee for purposes of the employer pay-or-play mandates and certain other reforms. Following the designation of the members of the House and Senate that will occupy key leadership positions completed last week, committee assignments and other key leadership assignments are clarifying and members of both houses of Congress are now discussing the key legislative priorities and their work schedule for the balance of 2014 and when the new Congress is sworn in on January 3, 2014. Consequently, business and other leaders supporting the Act’s reforms or other ACA reforms should identify the key Congressional players on the committees influencing the Act and other legislation and begin communicating with the key leaders and their elected Congressional leaders about this support.
Interested persons can review the Act and monitor its status here.
For Advice, Training & Other Resources
If you need assistance monitoring these and other regulatory policy, enforcement, litigation or other developments, or to review or respond to these or other workforce, benefits and compensation, performance and risk management, compliance, enforcement or management concerns, the author of this update, attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer may be able to help.
Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law, Past Chair of the ABA RPTE Employee Benefit & Other Compensation Arrangements Group, Co-Chair and Past Chair of the ABA RPTE Welfare Plan Committee, Vice Chair of the ABA TIPS Employee Benefit Plans Committee, an ABA Joint Committee On Employee Benefits Council representative, Past Chair of the ABA Health Law Section Managed Care & Insurance Section, a Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel, ABA, and State Bar of Texas, Ms. Stamer has more than 25 years’ experience advising health plan and employee benefit, insurance, financial services, employer and health industry clients about these and other matters. Ms. Stamer has extensive experience advising and assisting health plans and insurers about ACA, and a wide range of other plan design, administration, data security and privacy and other compliance risk management policies. Ms. Stamer also regularly represents clients and works with Congress and state legislatures, EBSA, IRS, EEOC, OCR and other HHS agencies, state insurance and other regulators, and others. She also publishes and speaks extensively on health and other employee benefit plan and insurance, staffing and human resources, compensation and benefits, technology, public policy, privacy, regulatory and public policy and other operations and risk management concerns. Her publications and insights appear in the Health Care Compliance Association, Atlantic Information Service, Bureau of National Affairs, World At Work, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insurance, the Dallas Morning News, Modern Health Care, Managed Healthcare, Health Leaders, and a many other national and local publications.
You can review other recent human resources, employee benefits and internal controls publications and resources and additional information about the employment, employee benefits and other experience of the Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, PC here. If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail – by creating or updating your profile www.cynthiastamer.com or by registering to participate in the distribution of these and other updates on our HR & Employee Benefits Update distributions here including:
- Check Out Updated Kaiser Calculator For 2015 Zip Code-Specific Premium and Tax Credit Estimates for Health Marketplace Coverage Coverage
- Ebola Scare & New OCR Privacy Guidance Reminder To Prepare For Pandemic & Other Emergencies
- Stamer Kicks Off Dallas HR 2015 Monthly Lunch Series With 2015 Federal Legislative, Regulatory & Enforcement Update
- New DOL, IRS & HHS FAQ Confirms Employers Can’t Pay, Use HRAs to Reimburse Employees For Individual Policy Premiums
- Review Health Plans With Reference-Based Reimbursement Designs Under New Agency FAQ Guidance
- IRS Raises Health FSA Contribution Limit For 2015
- IRS Guidance Raises Concerns For Many Employers Offering “Skinny” & Other Limited Coverage Health Plans
- Supreme Court Delays Deciding Availabilities of ACA Subsidies For Coverage Purchased On Federal Exchange
- HHS Delays Enforcement Of HIPAA HPID Requirements
- Plan’s Purchase of Company Stock Triggers $6.48 Million Award Against ESOP Sponsor, Shareholder, Board Members & Trustees
- Government Contractors Get More Time To Comment On Burdens Of OFCCP Proposed Compensation Transparency Disclosure Regs
- IRS Announces Employee Plan Cost-Of-Living Adjustments
- Encourage Workers To Review Withholding As Part Of Annual Enrollment
- OFCCP FAQs On Veteran Hiring & Telework Rules
- Encourage Workers To Review Withholding As Part Of Annual Enrollment
- HHS Claims Average $69/Month Cost for Subsidized Coverage Shows ACA Success Challenged
- HIPAA Compliance & Breach Data Shares Helpful Lessons For Health Plans, Providers and Business Associates
- Making Wellness Work On A Shoestring Budget
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NOTE: This article is provided for educational purposes. It is does not establish any attorney-client relationship nor provide or serve as a substitute for legal advice to any individual or organization. Readers must engage properly qualified legal counsel to secure legal advice about the rules discussed in light of specific circumstances.
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