The Department of Labor has issued a “self-compliance tool,” (complete with a handy checklist) to help employers operating group health plans comply with the Affordable Care Act.

As the DOL explains,  

Our approach to implementation is and will continue to be marked by an emphasis on assisting (rather than imposing penalties on) plans, issuers and others that are working diligently and in good faith to understand and come into compliance with the new law.”

The checklist starts by helping people understand whether their group plans are grandfathered in under the ACA. It then goes on to set out the necessary elements for a non-grandfathered plan under the ACA. The list is also very helpful in that it provides citations to the underlying legal provisions.

The length of the document — 29 pages — which the DOL characterizes as “an informal explanation of the statutes and the most recent regulations and interpretations” is a vivid reminder of how complex the requirements are under the ACA, and the challenges that face all employers who must comply with it.

Likewise, the DOL has issued a checklist for complying with the HIPAA requirements under the ACA. This is another useful and helpful document that employers should take advantage of.