Frequently Asked Questions about Eligibility Waiting Periods

Frequently Asked Questions about
Eligibility Waiting Periods – Updated February 2014

February Compliance Recap

February brought two significant final regulations that affect an employer’s compliance obligations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The first, on the employer-shared responsibility ("play or pay") requirements, delays this requirement for many employers with 50 to 99 employees and includes a number of clarifications from the rules described in the proposed regulation. The second, on eligibility waiting period requirements, is very similar to the proposed rule.

Eligibility Waiting Periods

On February 20, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final regulations on the eligibility waiting period requirements.

Counting Employees under Health Care Reform (Part 1)

The IRS has issued the final employer-shared responsibility ("play or pay") regulations and employers promptly need to determine if they are large enough for the requirements to apply to them. The employer’s size also determines when any penalties will start to apply.

IRS Issues Final Regulations on Employer Shared Responsibility (Play or Pay)

On February 10, 2014, the IRS issued final regulations on the employer-shared responsibility requirements, often known as "play or pay." This is the requirement that large employers offer adequate coverage to their full-time employees or pay penalties. The final regulations follow the proposed regulations (which were issued in January 2013) in many respects, but also contain some surprises.

Employee Recruiting
Employer Shared Responsibility ("Play or Pay") Regulations

The U.S. Treasury Department released the final regulations implementing the employer shared responsibility penalty provisions of the 2010 health care reform law on February 10, 2014. In many ways, the final regulations resemble the proposed regulations issued over a year ago, but there are several – mostly welcome – changes and transition provisions for employers.