MANDATES IN HEALTH CARE REFORM

Tucked into the landmark health care reform bill signed into law in March 2010 are a few surprises: an increase in adoption assistance exclusion and credit, breaks for new moms, modified W-2 and 1099 reporting requirements, and a national social insurance program providing limited long-term care (LTC) coverage through the workplace for employees.

 Adoption Assistance Exclusion and Credit: Employers that offer adoption assistance and employees who take advantage of it-or that claim the adoption tax credit-need to make adjustments that reflect the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that increase the employer-provided adoption assistance exclusion and the adoption tax credit. Effective retroactively to January 1, 2010, PPACA increased the tax credit and tax exclusion to $13,170 for all adoptions.

 Breaks and Space for Nursing Moms: Employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are now required to furnish “reasonable” breaks to nursing mothers to express milk for their infants. Employers must also provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. Many states already have similar requirements.

 W-2 and 1099 Reporting: Starting with your employees 2011 W-2s, health care reform requires employers to calculate and report the aggregate cost of applicable employer-sponsored health insurance coverage on employees’ Form W-2s. And beginning in 2012, all companies will have to issue a 1099 tax form to any individual or company from which they purchase more than $600 in goods or services.

 Long-Term Care: Inside the health care reform law is the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, which creates a national social insurance program providing limited long-term care (LTC) coverage through the workplace for employees. The government-run LTC option is intended to provide a baseline for extended care.

Source: SHRM

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