IRS final regulations issued earlier this year provide guidance on compliance with the employer coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including determining full-time status and offering coverage with minimum value. In addition, the government has also issued final and proposed regulations regarding 90-day waiting periods under the ACA.

While both sets of final

Pundits have written much about the Affordable Care Act’s forthcoming Health Insurance Exchanges, but they have paid little attention to employers’ obligations to notify employees of those Exchanges.  The state-based Exchanges, also known as the Health Insurance Marketplace, are expected to go into effect on January 1, 2014, with open enrollment beginning on October 1, 2013.  Employees may purchase health insurance through these Exchanges.

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires that employers report the aggregate cost of “applicable employer-sponsored coverage” on Form W-2.  (See our August 6, 2012, posting entitled “Reminder – 2012 Form W-2 Reporting For Group Health Plans” for an explanation of this requirement.)  Applicable employer-sponsored coverage generally includes coverage under any group health plan made available to employees by an employer that is excludable from gross income.  In providing an enumerated list of the types of coverage that are exempt from the reporting requirement, the Internal Revenue Service explained in Notice 2012-9 (Q&A-12) that the term “applicable employer-sponsored coverage” generally does not include any coverage for HIPAA-excepted benefits, other than coverage for on-site medical clinics.

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Beginning in 2014, sponsors of self-insured group health plans (and insurers for insured group health plans) will be required to pay an annual fee to fund the Transitional Reinsurance Program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently proposed additional regulations for this program.  Here is a quick overview of how the program will work under the proposed rules.

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