IRS and Treasury Request Comments on Determining Full-Time Employees Under Affordable Care Act
May 23, 2011
Notice 2011-36 seeks input from employers related to their shared responsibility regarding health coverage. IRS and the Department of the Treasury are gathering information as they develop proposed regulations to implement the shared employer responsibility provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Act).
The shared responsibility provisions, which apply beginning January 2, 2014, relate to the offering of health coverage by employers, including colleges and universities, to their full-time employees. The notice sets forth potential approaches to key definitions and determinations which could be incorporated in future proposed regulations, including:
- definitions of employer, employee and hours of service for both hourly and non-hourly employees;
- determining whether an employer is a large employer, i.e., has at least 50 full-time employees and therefore is subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Act;
- potential methods for determining full-time employees, including: 1) how employers could employ a “look-back/stability period” safe harbor method to determine employees’ status, and 2) whether an administrative period is needed to perform the look-back calculation, notify employees of their eligibility and enroll them in coverage;
- provisions establishing assessable payments for not offering minimum essential coverage to eligible employees;
- challenges employers may face in being able to offer coverage to certain categories of employees and whether there are appropriate exceptions (e.g. for non-resident alien employees and certain seasonal employees) that should be provided under the employer responsibility provisions; and
- the 90-day limitation on wait periods, including which employees are subject to the limitation, when a wait period may apply consistent with the limitation, and how the 90-day limitation should be calculated.
Comments are due by June 17.
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