Administration Issues New Health Care Guidance for Employers

Last Friday, the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services released new guidance on the regulatory implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), providing additional information for franchise small business owners to comply with the law when many new provisions come into effect on January 1, 2014.

Treasury’s new regulation, Notice 2012-58, incorporates provisions advocated by IFA which enable employers to use a 12-month “look back” period to determine whether newly hired variable hour or seasonal employees qualify as full-time employees.  Notice 2012-59, jointly released by Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services, provides guidance on a 90-day waiting period after which employers must provide coverage to new, full-time employees.

The regulatory guidance, especially surrounding the look back period, have taken into account the needs of small businesses with largely seasonal, part-time, and flexible workforces.  In June, IFA submitted comments to the Administration regarding these regulations as part of the Employers for Flexibility in Health Care coalition (EFHC).

IFA continues to advocate to relieve the burden the ACA places on franchise small businesses and to inform members of the franchise community on the regulations set to take effect in the coming years.  On September 10 at the 2012 IFA Public Affairs Conference in Washington DC, hundreds of IFA members will learn about the ACA’s implications for franchise small businesses in a health care presentation by Washington Council Ernst & Young’s Anne Phelps.   For more information, please visit www.franchise.org/publicaffairs.aspx.