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National Restaurant Association - NRA offers primer on health-care law requirements

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NRA offers primer on health-care law requirements

The White House’s decision earlier this month to use 2014 as a year for transition relief and voluntary compliance with the health care law’s employer mandate and some reporting requirements bought a little breathing room for so-called “large employers” -- but all other parts of the law are moving forward.

Even though the employer mandate and its associated penalties don’t apply until 2015, businesses of all sizes should take time now to prepare for what’s ahead. Public exchanges are set to start enrolling millions of Americans in 2014 health care coverage on Oct. 1. By that date, employers are required to give employees written notice about how to access these exchanges. Your employees have questions, and for large employers, getting ready for 2015 will take time.

To help restaurant operators prepare for the health care law, the National Restaurant Association has issued a Health Care Law Primer. The primer includes information on:

  • Key dates and deadlines. Some provisions of the law are already in effect, and others start rolling out this fall. Learn what’s coming, and when.
     
  • Getting ready. Learn 10 steps you can take now to prepare for the law.
     
  • Oct. 1, 2013, employee-notification mandate. All employers covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act are required to provide employees with written notice about how to access new public exchanges offering private health plans for sale starting Oct. 1. Find out what guidance the Labor Department has issued so far on this mandate.
     
  • How to calculate whether you’re an “applicable large employer.” Calculating whether you’re above or below the 50-full-time-equivalent (FTE)-employee threshold for the employer mandate isn’t easy. The law’s employer mandate applies to companies based on their workforce in the previous calendar year, which means you’ll need to start running numbers in 2014 to understand how the law will affect you in 2015. You’ll need to know not only your number of full-time employees, but the hours of service for your part-time employees, including seasonal workers. Get details on how this complicated calculation works.
     
  • How the law affects businesses with 50+ FTE employees. If you employ an average of 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees on business days in 2014, you’ll be covered by the employer mandate in 2015. That means starting in 2015 you’ll either need to offer coverage to full-time employees and their dependents or face possible penalties. Learn which employees are considered full time, what kind of coverage must be offered if an employer wants to avoid penalties, and what penalties may apply if a large employer fails to offer coverage or offers coverage that doesn’t meet new standards for affordability and minimum value.
     
  • How the law affects businesses with fewer than 50 FTE employees. Businesses with fewer than 50 full-time-equivalent employees will not be covered by the law’s employer mandate, but other provisions apply. Learn more about new options for smaller businesses in buying coverage through public exchanges, the rules that affect small employers who offer coverage, and what you should be doing now to prepare.
     
  • Common employee questions. There’s widespread confusion over what the law means for employees. Get answers to some of the top questions your employees may be asking.

Download the National Restaurant Association’s Health Care Law Primer.

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