The IRS recently released final regulations (“Regulations”) regarding the penalty payment required from individual taxpayers who fail to obtain minimum essential coverage (“MEC”) under the Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2014 (known as the “Individual Mandate”).  As relevant to employers, the Regulations address determinations of MEC availability and affordability, including treatment of retiree group medical and COBRA coverage, and forms of coverage that will be treated as MEC.  In particular, the Regulations clarify that medical coverage offered to employees by an organization acting on behalf of an employer, such as a professional employer organization, leasing company, or multiemployer plan, will constitute “eligible employer-sponsored coverage” that is MEC. 

A link to the Regulations is available here.  A link to the related IRS Fact Sheet is available here.