Employers remain in a holding pattern through 2014 regarding a provision of the Affordable Care Act that the Internal Revenue Service is not yet enforcing.
Under the ACA, non-discrimination rules will apply to all health plans, in that companies cannot offer better benefits to higher-compensated officials, such as executive medical plans and class-based benefits, according to a white paper from ERISA attorney Benjamin Lupin, senior vice president of compliance at Corporate Synergies — but only after appropriate guidance has been issued.
Despite a report in The New York Times this week that this is a further delay from to Obamacare, both Lupin and the IRS say that is not the case. “The latest note from the IRS confirms that guidance is not ready to be issued in 2014 and employers remain in a holding pattern through 2014,” Lupin said in an e-mail.
The IRS confirmed that this revolves around Notice 2011-1, which was released in December 2010. “The notice stated that sanctions under Public Health Service Act 2716 will not apply until after generally applicable guidance is issued, because the statues requires regulatory detail in order to operate properly,” said IRS spokesperson Michelle Eldridge in an e-mail. “Work on that guidance continues.”
Adds Lupin, ”2015 could set up to be a very interesting and stressful time for employers between nondiscrimination regulations and the employer mandate taking full effect.”
Additional reporting by AccountingToday.com editor-in-chief Michael Cohn. This article originally appeared on Health Insurance Exchange.