New guidance from the IRS suggests that the only way for employers to pay for employees’ individual health insurance policies is to pay for such coverage on an after-tax basis.  Health reimbursement arrangements and employer arrangements that pay or reimburse premiums on a pre-tax basis, which cover individuals who are not enrolled in group health plans, are no longer permissible under the Affordable Care Act.  Employers may forward post-tax employee deductions to a health insurance issuer without establishing a group health plan.

IRS Notice 2013-54 can be found here.