© Copyright ClearPath Benefits

8 reasons for employers to keep their PPACA guard up

Originally published July 17, 2013 by Dan Cook on https://www.benefitspro.com

Now that the celebrations have died down over the one-year delay of penalties for employers who don’t meet the PPACA coverage requirements, it’s time to take a close look at what does remain in effect.

The very short answer to the question is that there’s still quite a bit on the books, and that, really, only the teeth have been (temporarily) removed.

Here’s what the national law firm Bryan Cave had to say about which PPACA provisions remain in effect for employers in the year ahead.

1.  Summaries of Benefits and Coverage must be distributed during open enrollment for the 2014 coverage period and must indicate whether the plan provides minimum value, as defined under the PPACA.

2.  Exchange Notices: Employers must distribute PPACA exchange notices to employees by Oct. 1, 2013, and thereafter to new employees upon hire.

3.  Application for Advance Premium Credits: Employers are required to complete a 12-page form entitled, “Application for Health Coverage and Help Paying Costs” when requested by employees who are applying for PPACA advance premium tax credits when purchasing coverage via an exchange.

4.  PPACA fees: Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute Fees (“PCORI Fees”) must be paid in July 2013 (that’s now!). The first Transitional Reinsurance Fee must be paid on or before Jan. 15, 2015. PCORI is a private non-profit corporation that gathers research-based information to assist patients, practitioners and policy makers in making informed health care decision.

5.  W-2 reporting: Employers must continue to report the aggregate value of health coverage on Forms W-2.

6.  Counting Period for Employer Mandate: Employers that need to determine whether they will be subject to the employer mandate in 2015 (50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees in 2014) will need to record employee hours in 2014. It is not yet clear whether a short counting period will be available, which means that employers may be smartest to begin to track hours on a per-employee, monthly basis on Jan. 1.

7.  Benefit Mandates For All Plans: Plan design requirements for all plans continue to apply (e.g., maximum 90-day waiting period, no limits on pre-existing conditions or essential health benefits, expansion of wellness incentives, dependent coverage to age 26).

8.  Benefit Mandates for Non-Grandfathered Plans Only: Plan design requirements for non-grandfathered plans only continue to apply (e.g., preventive care coverage requirements, limits on out-of-pocket maximums, coverage for clinical trial-related services, and provider nondiscrimination, and for small group health plans, limits on annual deductibles).