Bloomberg Law for HR Professionals is a complete, one-stop resource, continuously updated, providing HR professionals with fast answers to a wide range of domestic and international human resources...
An Obama administration announcement delaying some employer requirements under the Affordable Care Act means that employers may not need to worry for at least another year about the ACA's minimum value proposed rules, a benefits attorney said July 3, a day after the deadline for submitting comments on the minimum value rules.
The Obama administration announced July 2 that it will delay for one year new mandatory reporting requirements for employers and health insurers--as well as related employer shared-responsibility penalties (see story on p. 217).
Gretchen K. Young, senior vice president for health policy at the ERISA Industry Committee in Washington, D.C., told BNA that employers affected by the delay in the reporting requirements under tax code sections 6055 and 6056 and related employer penalties also may not have to comply with the minimum value standards for another year.
The minimum value standards will not matter for 2014 because the penalties will not apply, she said. For employees, however, minimum value “is still a relevant concern at this point unless, when we get the complete guidance, [it says] something different,” she said.
“There has been no change to the individual mandate or individual penalty for 2014,” she added.
Under current rules, an employee seeking subsidized coverage in an insurance exchange created under the ACA would still need proof that the employer's plan “didn't meet minimum value standards or, more importantly, wasn't affordable,” she said.
For 2014, minimum value standards are still relevant for employees but not for employers, Young said. “It's going to be difficult to reconcile,” she added.
In April, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service proposed rules (REG-125398-12) for determining whether health insurance coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan provides mandatory “minimum value” under the ACA (64 BTM 148, 5/7/13). The proposed rules also covered health insurance premium tax credits provided under the ACA.
Even before the announced delay, at least one commenter already expressed concern about whether employees whose employers did not offer minimum value health insurance coverage would receive that information in time to apply for health insurance premium assistance tax credits.
Regarding proposed minimum value standards for employer-provided health insurance coverage, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said in a July 2 letter submitted to IRS that timely verification is important so that eligible employees and their dependents can apply for premium tax credits and health insurance exchange coverage provided under the ACA.
“If the employer's information is incorrect and the worker actually does not have an offer of coverage that meets minimum value, it is unclear how workers will be informed in a timely manner when this occurs,” CBPP said.
CBPP raised another concern about how the proposed rules on minimum value “will work in practice.” Commenting on the use of a government-provided minimum value calculator, CBPP questioned whether someone who is not an actuary would know whether a plan has “nonstandard” features not accounted for in the calculator and whether those features might materially affect the minimum value calculation.
CBPP suggested minimizing the burden of the minimum value rules on employers by requiring health insurers that market or offer plans to employers to calculate the minimum value of the products they offer. It also suggested the same be done by third-party administrators that contract with employers to administer their health benefits.
Text of the CBPP letter is available at http://op.bna.com/pen.nsf/r?Open=strg-999qlv.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)