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How Will the Supreme Court Decision on Health Care Reform Impact Your Business?

Submitted by Firm:
Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus, P.C.
Firm Contacts:
Abtin Mehdizadegan, J. Bruce Cross, Misty Wilson Borkowski
Article Type:
Legal Update

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on June 28, 2012, to uphold President Obama's Affordable Care Act means that employers must swiftly move to comply with the rolling timeline, with full implementation of the law beginning in 2014. Particularly, employers should be mindful of the following dates: 

  • January 1, 2013- As fully explained on the IRS website, except as exempted in the IRS's transition relief in "Notice 2012-9," employers generally are required to report the cost of health benefits on employees' W-2 Forms. As noted above, transition relief is available for certain employers and with respect to certain types of coverage, but that is likely to be temporary relief, not permanent. Click here to read the notice.  
  • January 1, 2013- Contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts will be limited to $2,500 per year.
  • March 1, 2013- Employers must provide written notice to employees about state health insurance exchange information, eligibility for tax credit or cost-sharing reduction, and possible loss of employer contribution.
  • January 1, 2014- Maximum allowable waiting period to be enrolled in an employer-sponsored health plan will be 90 days.
  • January 1, 2014- Small employers (with less than 25 employees) that offer health care coverage to employees will be eligible for a tax credit of up to 50% premiums paid. (In 2010 - 2012, a credit of 35% of premiums paid was offered to small employers).
  • January 1, 2014- Employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees (working at least 30 hours a week) will be required to provide health care coverage to full-time employees or pay a penalty ("play or pay" provision).
  • January 1, 2014- Employers with 200 or more employees who offer health insurance coverage will be required to automatically enroll employees for health care coverage upon eligibility. The employee may "opt out" of the insurance.
  •  January 1, 2014- Individuals without health insurance will be eligible to purchase health insurance through State Health Exchanges. Under the individual mandate, individuals will be required to obtain health insurance coverage or pay a penalty to the government.