A key portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care reform law is the employer play-or-pay provision, also known as the employer mandate.
Employers with 50 or more full-time employees during the prior year must offer affordable health benefits that provide minimum value to full-time employees and their dependents—in other words, play—or else pay a free-rider penalty if even one employee buys individual insurance through an exchange and receives a premium tax credit or other cost-sharing reduction.
Grandfathered plans—those in existence on March 23, 2010—are excluded from the mandate. Regulations, which are proposed to become effective for months after Dec. 31, 2013, implement this provision. You may rely on these regs until final regs are issued. (78 F.R. 217, 1-2-13)
There are two paths to free-rider liability, which apply if even one full-time employee (but not dependents) obtains coverage on an in...(register to read more)
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