Prepare for the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act

By Mark H Boxer and Anne Pachciarek

Effective 1 January 2015, you could face tax penalties under the employer shared responsibility rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if you fail to offer healthcare coverage to your full-time employees and their dependents. These 10 questions will help you determine your company’s risk.

1. What is the employer mandate?
Nothing in the ACA requires an employer to offer its employees group health coverage. However, certain large employers will have to pay tax penalties in 2015 under the employer shared responsibility rules if they fail to offer coverage to their full-time employees and their dependents. A large employer will either elect to ‘play’ by providing affordable minimum essential health coverage to full-time employees and their dependents or will ‘pay’ a penalty.

2. When is the employer mandate effective?
Final rules issued in February 2014 say that the employer mandate is effective on 1 January 2015, for calendar-year plans of employers with 100 or more full-time equivalent employees. The employer mandate is delayed until 2016 for employers with 50–99 full-time equivalent employees…

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