The most recent validation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by the Supreme Court is the 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell, No. 14-114 (June 25, 2015). It clears the way, at least for now, for the law’s health insurance coverage requirements and reporting provisions. Under the ACA, covered employers must meet the threshold requirements for minimum health insurance coverage for eligible employees or be subject to significant “shared responsibility” penalties. Employers and group health plans must be ready to comply with the law’s schedule of information reporting requirements beginning in early 2016.
Employers with at least 50 full-time and full-time equivalent employees need to ensure they are tracking hours of service and are otherwise prepared to meet the large employer reporting requirements for the 2015 calendar year. Employers, regardless of size, that sponsor self-funded group health plans need to ensure they are prepared to meet the health plan reporting requirements for 2015 (also due in early 2016). All employers that sponsor group health plans also should be considering whether and to what extent the so-called Cadillac tax could apply beginning in 2018.