Lawyers in Northampton, MA Discuss Changes in Health Care Coverage

Tony CanataInfo Articles

Health care law changed dramatically with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. The new law creates shared responsibility among individuals, employers, insurers and the government in an effort to ensure that all Americans have health insurance. Under the ACA, companies with 50 or more employees are “applicable large employers” and must either provide health care coverage or pay penalties. If employers want to keep compliant so that they can avoid hefty fines and time consuming efforts to address their violations of the law, they would do well to seek out the help of lawyers in Northampton, MA who have experience in this area of law.

Employers’ Responsibilities

It is an employer’s responsibility to prepare new “information returns,” under the new health care law. Reports on information returns starting from 2015 are due in 2016. Employers of a certain size must provide information about coverage that they offered or did not offer to full-time employees to the Internal Revenue Service, or the “IRS.” Employers who offer self-insured health plans must also need provide similar reports to the IRS. Employers will have to use new forms from the IRS to complete their reports. The IRS has different classifications for employers and provides different forms for each.

Requirements for Coverage

Under the Affordable Care Act, large employers may face penalties if they do not make affordable coverage available. These coverages must meet minimum value and affordability standards. Not all employers or businesses, however, are required to provide health benefits to their workers. The only type of employers that are required to provide coverage and that face penalties if they do not do so are those that are designated “applicable large employers.” Applicable large employers are employers that have 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees. Companies and employers that have fewer than 50 people employed full-time are not applicable large employers will not be subjected to penalties.

Health Care Coverage Providers

By extension, the recent change in health care law also applies to coverage providers, usually private healthcare insurers. They are also required to provide information about the coverage they provide for individuals. Like employers, coverage providers must submit these reports to the IRS using the form specifically provided for the purpose by the IRS.

Health care law will continue to change and evolve. Health care accounts for approximately one seventh of the economy and is one of the most complex areas of law, business and government. It simply cannot remain static. Whether you are a business owner, an employee or a coverage provider, you will need to know about health care developments. Hiring experienced lawyers in Northampton is the best way to keep up with this complex and evolving area of law.


Filing Health Coverage Information Returns, Internal Revenue Service

Employer Responsibility Under the Affordable Care Act¸ Kaiser Family Founcation

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