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BULLETIN

December 29, 2012

 

[Official Guidance]

Text of Proposed IRS Regs on Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions Under ACA
144 pages. "This document contains proposed regulations providing guidance under section 4980H ... with respect to the shared responsibility for employers regarding employee health coverage. These proposed regulations would affect only employers that meet the definition of 'applicable large employer' as described in these proposed regulations.... This document also provides notice of a public hearing on these proposed regulations.... The proposed regulations generally incorporate the provisions of Notice 2012-58, as well as many of the provisions of Notices 2011-36, 2011-73, and 2012-17, with some modifications in response to comments.... The regulations also propose guidance on additional issues." (Internal Revenue Service)

[Official Guidance]

From IRS: 'Questions and Answers on Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions Under the Affordable Care Act'
"The Employer Shared Responsibility provisions generally go into effect on January 1, 2014. Employers will use information about the employees they employ during 2013 to determine whether they employ enough employees to be subject to these new provisions in 2014.... [Question:] If two or more companies have a common owner or are otherwise related, are they combined for purposes of determining whether they employ enough employees to be subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions? [Answer:] Yes, consistent with longstanding standards that apply for other tax and employee benefit purposes, companies that have a common owner or are otherwise related generally are combined together for purposes of determining whether or not they employ at least 50 full-time employees (or an equivalent combination of full-time and part-time employees). If the combined total meets the threshold, then each separate company is subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions, even those companies that individually do not employ enough employees to meet the threshold.... [Question:] I understand that the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions do not go into effect until 2014. However, the health plan that I offer to my employees runs on a fiscal plan year that starts in 2013 and will run into 2014. Do I need to make sure my plan complies with these new requirements in 2013 when the next fiscal plan year starts? [Answer:] For an employer that as of December 27, 2012, already offers health coverage through a plan that operates on a fiscal year (a fiscal year plan), transition relief is available.... [Question:] Is transition relief available to help employers that are close to the 50 full-time employee threshold determine their options for 2014? [Answer:] Yes. Rather than being required to use the full twelve months of 2013 to measure whether it has 50 full-time employees (or an equivalent number of part-time and full-time employees), an employer may measure using any six-consecutive-month period in 2013. So, for example, an employer could use the period from January 1, 2013, through June 30, 2013, and then have six months to analyze the results, determine whether it needs to offer a plan, and, if so, choose and establish a plan." (Internal Revenue Service)

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