Whether you're an employee or an employer, there are responsibilities associated with the new Affordable Healthcare Act that you need to know about. In a nutshell...
1. For 2015 and after, employers employing at least a certain number of employees (generally 50 full-time employees or a combination of full-time and part-time employees that is equivalent to 50 full-time employees) will be subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions under section 4980H of the Internal Revenue Code (added to the Code by the Affordable Care Act). As defined by the statute, a full-time employee is an individual employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week. An employer that meets the 50 full-time employee threshold is referred to as an applicable large employer.
Under the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions, if these employers do not offer affordable health coverage that provides a minimum level of coverage to their full-time employees (and their dependents), the employer may be subject to an Employer Shared Responsibility payment if at least one of its full-time employees receives a premium tax credit for purchasing individual coverage on one of the new Affordable Insurance Exchanges, also called a Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace).
2. When do the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions go into effect?
The Employer Shared Responsibility provisions generally are not effective until Jan. 1, 2015, meaning that no Employer Shared Responsibility payments will be assessed for 2014. See Notice 2013-45. Employers will use information about the number of employees they employ and their hours of service during 2014 to determine whether they employ enough employees to be an applicable large employer for 2015. See question 4 for more information on determining whether an employer is an applicable large employer and questions 29 through 39 for more information about transition relief for 2015.
3. Is more detailed information available about the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions?
Yes. Treasury and the IRS have issued final regulations on the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions. Treasury and the IRS also have issued proposed regulations on the related Information Reporting by Applicable Large Employers on Health Insurance Coverage Offered under Employer-Sponsored Plans.