IRS, HHS, DOL Issue Notices on ACA Safe Harbor, Waiting Period Guidance
The Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Dept. of Labor and Health and Human Services providing guidance on two provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to employers and health plan administrators.
Notice 2012-58 describes safe harbor methods that employers may use (but are not required to use) to determine which employees are treated as full-time employees for purposes of the ACA-added shared employer responsibility provisions. Specifically, the administrative guidance in Notice 2012-58 modifies and expands on previous guidance and includes a safe harbor method that employers may apply to specified newly-hired employees.
Notice 2012-59, provides guidance that for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014, a group health plan or group health insurance issuer shall not apply any waiting period that exceeds 90 days. Other conditions for eligibility under the terms of a group health plan may be permissible, unless the condition is designed to avoid compliance with the 90-day waiting period limitation.