On Feb. 10, 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department released final regulations implementing the employer shared responsibility provisions of the ACA.  Included in these regulations were additional relief for mid-size employers as well as clarification of the rules for large employers.  The final rules will delay implementation for medium-sized employers that are covered by the employer mandate. Applicable large employers that have fewer than 100 full-time employees will have an additional year, until 2016, to comply with the pay or play rules. 

Thus, the employer shared responsibility provisions will generally apply to:

  • Employers with 100 or more full-time employees starting in 2015; and
  • Employers with 50-99 full-time employees starting in 2016.

To qualify for this delay, the employer must provide an appropriate certification as described in the final rules. 

Further, under the proposed rules, applicable large employers would need to offer coverage to at least 95 percent of their full-time employees to avoid the most significant penalties. The final rule provides transition relief that will phase in this requirement over two years, beginning in 2015.

To avoid a payment for failing to offer health coverage in 2015, applicable large employers will need to offer coverage to 70 percent of their full-time employees.

In 2016 and beyond, applicable large employers will need to offer coverage to 95 percent of their full-time employees to avoid these penalties.

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