New Notices Offer Guidance on Health Care Reform Pay-or-Play and Waiting Period Provisions

The Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and Department of Health and Human Services issued two new notices on August 31 to assist employers in determining their obligations under health care reform.

Notice 2012-58 helps employers define who is considered a “full-time employee” and what is considered “affordable” health care for purposes of the pay-or- play penalty provision going into effect in 2014. The pay-or-play provision requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to either offer “affordable” health care to those employees or pay a penalty.

Notice 2012-59 offers guidance on the health care reform requirement that waiting periods for group health plans and group health insurance may not exceed 90 days.  

These notices will remain in effect until the end of 2014. Public comments are being accepted until September 30 and can be emailed to e-ohpsca-er.ebsa@dol.gov. Read more about the practical effect of these notices in our October Bulletin