Federal poverty line safe harbor set for 2019 plan year
Under the Affordable Care Act’s federal poverty line safe harbor, group health benefits are affordable during the 2019 plan year if employees don’t pay more than $102.63 a month ($12,490 federal poverty line ÷ 12 × 9.86%). Flip side: A full-time employee who earns up to $49,960 ($12,490 × 400%) may qualify for a premium tax credit if your group benefits aren’t affordable or don’t provide minimum value.
SIX-MONTH RULE: If you use the federal poverty line safe harbor, you may use federal poverty guidelines in effect six months prior to the start of your plan year. For 2018, the federal poverty line was $12,140, so benefits are affordable during the first six months of a 2019 plan year if they don’t exceed $99.75 a month ($12,140 ÷ 12 × 9.86%).