Breaking with long standing tradition—i.e., issuing important rules on a Friday before a holiday weekend, or (failing that) any Friday (hence the reference to Week 45½ in this post)—the Treasury Department and the IRS today issued a 227-page final regulation under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility (a/k/a “pay-or-play”) rules.  From the perspective of affected employers (i.e., those with 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees), this new rule is arguably the single most important to be issued under the Act.

A fact sheet issued by the Treasury Department along with the final regulations provides some context for the new rules and alerts readers to some of the highlights, which include:

  • Clarifications regarding whether employees of certain types or in certain occupations are considered full-time
  • Rules governing seasonal employees and adjunct faculty members
  • A delayed effective date for employers with at least 50 but fewer than 100 full-time employees, and
  • Additional transition rules.

In the next few weeks we will be parsing this new final regulation, explaining its key provisions, and speculating about how affected employers might comply.