The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires applicable large employers (ALEs) to offer affordable, minimum value health coverage to their full-time employees or possibly pay a penalty. This employer mandate is also known as the “employer shared responsibility” or “pay or play” rules.

ALEs can use one of two methods to determine whether employees are full time under the employer shared responsibility rules:

  • The monthly measurement method determines full-time status for each calendar month based on the employee’s hours of service in that month.
  • The look-back measurement method determines full-time status for a longer period of time-based on average hours of service during a prior period.

The evolving coronavirus pandemic has caused some confusion and uncertainty in applying the look-back measurement method during periods of layoff, furlough, and COVID-19 related periods of paid and unpaid leave.

Read the full compliance bulletin linked below that provides information for employers regarding how the look-back measurement method applies to COVID-19 related absences.

 

Action Steps for Employers

Federal agencies have not issued guidance regarding the ACA’s employer shared responsibility rules in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, the general rules for determining employee status apply.

Employers should continue to monitor government websites and news outlets for updates related to the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Our Mission of Service

Our team at North Risk Partners will continue to monitor regulatory updates and guidance related to the COVID-19 outbreak and send you information as it becomes available. We are here to help you through this and face the risk of this virus head on, which to us is about helping you proactively control what you can control with facts and evidence-based information. Thank you for continuing to trust us with your business and doing your part to help protect our communities by controlling the spread of COVID-19.

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If you have questions related to this update, please contact your North Risk Partners advisor. Don’t have an advisor? No problem. We’ll help you find one.

This regulatory update is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.