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National Restaurant Association - IRS proposal, Q&A address health care rules for employers

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IRS proposal, Q&A address health care rules for employers

The Internal Revenue Service has begun to release more detailed proposals on how it intends to implement the employer provisions of the 2010 health care law.

The National Restaurant Association will hold a member-exclusive webinar Jan. 17, 2 p.m. ET, to summarize the IRS proposal and other parts of the law affecting employers. NRA members can register for the webinar, "Health Care Law: Next Steps for Restaurateurs," at Restaurant.org/Webinars.

In proposed regulations and a Q&A released Dec. 28, the agency spelled out more details on how it proposes to put the law's "employer mandate" into effect. Starting Jan. 1, 2014, this provision of the law will require "applicable large employers" to either offer full-time employees (and their dependents) an "affordable" health benefits package that meets a "minimum value" standard, or face possible penalties. Applicable large employers are defined as employers with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees.

The IRS formally published its proposed regulations in the Jan. 2, 2013, Federal Register.

The National Restaurant Association is analyzing the proposed regulations and will file extensive comments by the agency's March 18, 2013, deadline. The IRS will hold a public hearing on April 23.

Other regulations are still in the works, federal officials say. The Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor Departments still need to release regulations defining how an employer plan can meet the minimum value standard. The IRS is still working on regulations to outline new reporting requirements for employers covered by the mandate that will take effect in 2015. And the Labor Department has not yet released promised guidance for employers on how to implement the part of the law that requires employers, starting March 1, 2013, to give notice to employees about the existence of "exchanges" to purchase insurance in 2014.


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