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Employer responsibilities under the new health care bill

March 22nd, 2010  |  Matt Pavich

>The House of Representatives passed health care reform legislation on March 21st, in a 219-212 vote on H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Senate is expected to take up the Health Care Reconciliation Act, with the goal of sending a final package to the White House, before the next scheduled Congressional recess on March 29.

Among its many provisions, the bill affects employers in a variety of ways. Starting in 2014, certain employers will be assessed a $2,000 per full-time employee, although the first 30 employees will be excluded from the assessment. This affects employers with more than 50 employees, hat do not offer coverage and have at least one full-time employee receiving a premium tax credit.

Employers with more than 50 employees, that offer coverage, but have at least one full-time employee receiving a premium tax credit, will pay the lesser of $3,000 for each employee receiving a premium credit, or $750 for each fulltime employee.

Employers with 50 or fewer employees are exempt from penalties.

Also beginning in 2014, employers that offer coverage will be required to provide a free choice voucher to employees with incomes less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Line, whose share of the premium is greater than 8% but less than 9.8% of their income, and who choose to enroll in a plan in the Exchange. The voucher amount is equal to what the employer would have paid to provide coverage to the employee under the employer’s plan and will be used to offset the premium costs for the plan in which the employee is enrolled. Employers providing free choice vouchers will not be subject to penalties for employees that receive premium credits in the Exchange.

Employers with more than 200 employees must automatically enroll employees coverage offered by the employer. Employees may opt out of coverage.