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FAQs About the Affordable Care Act

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There have been a lot of questions regarding the upcoming implementation of the Affordable Care Act. We have waded through some of these for you and will be highlighting them in the next weeks. This first set of questions is about automatic enrollment in health plans and the employer’s responsibility.

The Affordable Care Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by adding a new section 18A, requiring employers with more than 200 full-time employees to automatically enroll new full-time employees in the employer’s health benefits plans and continue enrollment of current employees. What Agency is responsible for guidance under this new FLSA provision?

The Secretary of Labor has delegated responsibility for FLSA section 18A rulemaking, and for regulations under new section 18B of the FLSA, Notice to Employees of Coverage Options, to the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) within the Department of Labor. EBSA and the Department of the Treasury will coordinate to develop the rules that will apply in determining full-time employee status for purposes of the amendments to the FLSA and the rulemaking by the Treasury Department under the Internal Revenue Code to develop the rules that will apply in determining full-time employee status for purposes of the amendments made by the Affordable Care Act to the Internal Revenue Code.

When do employers have to comply with the new automatic enrollment requirements in section 18A of the FLSA?

Section 18A provides that employer compliance with the automatic enrollment provisions of that section shall be carried out “[i]n accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary [of Labor].” Accordingly, it is the view of the Department of Labor that, until such regulations are issued, employers are not required to comply with section 18A. The Department of Labor expects to work with stakeholders to ensure that it has the necessary information and data it needs to develop regulations in this area that take into account the practices employers currently use for auto-enrollment and to solicit the views and practices of a broad range of stakeholders, including employers, workers, and their families. The Department of Labor intends to complete this rulemaking by 2014.

Hopefully this addresses some of your questions. We realize that there is much confusion and we offer this as a forum for us to help clear up any issues or questions you may have. Feel free to respond here with your questions or call us at (813) 979-1588.

Work cited: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca5.html

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Author: hrmanbenefits

Anderson Thornton Consultants is a full-service insurance brokerage and employee benefits management firm based in Tampa, Florida, servicing businesses all over the United States.

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