Health Care Law Will Impose Various Obligations on Employers, Insurers over Time

future dates.jpgThe newly enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively known as “PPACA”), has set in motion significant changes to this country’s health care system. Many of these changes have and will impose new responsibilities on employers, insurers, benefits administrators, and the health professional community in general. Navigating the legislation and understanding the obligations the new health care law has created is made more difficult by the fact that many of these requirements are to be phased in over the next eight years.

Some obligations and benefits, such as certain small business tax credits and required break times for nursing mothers, were effective when PPACA was signed on March 23, 2010. Other provisions, such as those establishing the early retiree reinsurance program and requiring temporary high risk pools, take effect in June, 2010. Other significant changes and mandates that affect insurance plans and employers start taking effect months or years from now. For example, the establishment of health insurance exchanges and penalties impacting employers that do not provide adequate health coverage to their full-time employees begin in 2014, while the 40 percent excise tax on high cost “Cadillac” insurance policies does not take effect until 2018.

For more detailed information on these health care implementation target dates that affect the workplace, see Littler’s Insight: Health Care Reform: Are You Prepared? A Timeline for Employers to Follow by Ilyse W. Schuman, Steven J. Friedman, and David M. Sawyer.

Photo credit:  JLGutierrez

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.