The IRS recently updated long-unchanged guidance regarding its enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA’s”) employer shared responsibility provisions (commonly called the “employer mandate”), which generally require large employers to offer health care coverage to their full-time employees or face tax penalties. According to the new guidance, the IRS plans to notify employers in late 2017 of their potential liability with respect to the 2015 calendar year, which means employers may receive some not-so-merry IRS greeting cards just as this year’s holiday season gets underway.
Over the past week, the executive branch has issued a series of regulations and executive orders aimed at loosening certain health insurance rules and regulations that impact employers, employees, insurance companies, and individuals. The new regulations, which were issued in response to a previous executive order, allow an expanded group of employers to apply for a waiver from the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) mandate to provide contraceptive coverage. The regulations were followed by an executive order instructing various departments to work to facilitate the purchase of health insurance
The Department of Health and Human Services has released some much-anticipated rules of the road that will help implement the Affordable Care Act, including requirements on essential health benefits and preventing discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.