The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) is getting ready to publish a collection of final Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) regulations that could affect how employers structure health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) contributions, cafeteria plan contributions and wellness programs.
Other sections of the new regulation package, Minimum Value of Eligible Employer-Sponsored Plans and Other Rules Regarding the Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit (RIN 1545-BL43), deal with matters such as how families should count their children’s income when trying to qualify for PPACA premium tax credit subsidies, and how the premium tax credit program should treat babies born in the middle of a month.
The IRS is preparing to publish the package in the Federal Register Friday.
The regulations in the package are based on draft regulations the IRS posted in May 2013.
The packet appears to be a companion to a collection of informal PPACA guidance, presented in the form of answers to taxpayer questions, that the IRS released Wednesday.
PPACA calls for large employers that fail to provide affordable health coverage with a minimum value to face the possibility of having to pay penalties.
The HRA, cafeteria plan and wellness program regulations in the new final rules package deal with how specific benefits arrangements affect the official coverage affordability or minimum value calculations.
In the HRA section, for example, officials talk about an HRA combined with an employer-sponsored group health plan. If an employer promises to contribute a certain amount of cash to the HRA, the new contributions count toward affordability calculations. The contributions would help the benefits package meet minimum value standards if the employee has to use the cash to pay amounts related to the primary plan, but not if the employee can use the cash to pay for other benefits.