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FAQs Clarify Upcoming Guidance Regarding Automatic Enrollment, Employer-Shared Responsibility and Waiting Periods Under Health Reform

February 16, 2012
The U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury (the ?Ç£Departments?Ç¥) released a set of frequently asked questions addressing requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (?Ç£PPACA?Ç¥) relating to automatic enrollment, employer shared responsibility, and the 90-day limitation on waiting periods. Prior guidance indicated that the PPACA requirement to automatically enroll new full-time employees in an employer?ÇÖs health plan would not be effective until further regulations were issued. The FAQs provide that the Department of Labor (?Ç£DOL?Ç¥) has concluded that the automatic enrollment guidance will not be ready to take effect by 2014 and, therefore, until the final regulations are issued, employers will not be required to comply with the automatic enrollment requirements. Among other items, the FAQs also provide that the Departments intend to issue further regulations on issues relating to the implementation of the employer shared responsibility requirement, such as methods for determining whether a newly-hired employee is a full-time employee, and coordination of the employer shared responsibility requirement with the 90-day waiting period limitation. The FAQs in the form of Notice 2012-17 can be found here.
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