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Administration releases new health care regulations

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The comprehensive "proposed rule" guidance is intended to give employers sufficient time to comply with the law.

| January 8, 2013

From SAF: On Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced long-awaited regulations for implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Though not yet final, the comprehensive “proposed rule” guidance is intended to give employers sufficient time to comply with the law and to mitigate potential tax liabilities for non-compliance.

The proposed announcement clarifies definitions from the statute and also covers rules for:
•    Determining status as a large employer
•    Determining full-time employees
•    How tax penalties will be assessed for not offering coverage to full-time employees and their dependents
•    How tax penalties will be assessed for offering coverage that does not meet standards for affordability and          minimum value
•    The administration and assessment of excise taxes

Several key points are contained in the proposed rules. First, large employers that maintain a non-calendar year plan will be provided some transition relief so that they are not required to make mid-year changes to meet the law’s coverage requirements on Jan. 1, 2014. The new regulation also provides relief to large employers that opt to apply a look-back measurement period to determine who is a full-time employee. Additionally, small employers will be given transition relief for determining large employer status this year in advance of the January 2014 deadline.

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