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Healthcare Reform Guidance Calls for 12-Month Look-Back

September 04 2012

The federal government put forth guidance last week that could significantly reduce employer penalties under healthcare reform when those penalties take effect in 2014. The American Staffing Association reported that the government produced guidance for a “look-back” period of up to 12 months.

The look-back period would reduce the number of employees that would be considered full-time for the purposes of calculating healthcare reform penalties. Employers may face penalties under healthcare reform if they don’t offer full-time employees health insurance in 2014 or if the insurance doesn’t meet specific qualifications.

The guidance would allow employers to use a measurement period of up to 12 months to determine if an employee is full time. With a 12-month look-back period, only workers who are still working full-time after 12 months would count when figuring employer penalties under healthcare reform.

Ed Lenz, senior vice president, legal and public affairs, at the ASA, said the guidance is not regulation at this time, but the government has indicated that firms could rely on it through 2014. The ASA will continue working with the Treasury Department.

“This is a terrific development,” Lenz said. “There may be additional wrinkles that need to be worked on, but we’re pretty confident we are moving in the right direction.”

For the latest Staffing Industry Review article on healthcare reform, including discussion of look-back periods, click here.

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