By now, you've probably heard about the provision in the Affordable Care Act that may impose a penalty on employers who don't provide health insurance to their employees. It begins on January 1, 2014.
But the ACA has numerous other health plan provisions and deadlines employers must be concerned about, according to officials at Stambaugh Ness, a financial consulting firm headquartered at York Pa. Below are just three, along with the deadlines attached to them:
$2,500 cap on FSA contributions
A $2,500 cap on healthcare flexible spending accounts kicked in Jan. 1, 2013. Before this year, there was no tax-law limit on salary-reduction contributions to an employer healthcare FSA. (Many plans imposed their own annual limits, though.) After this year, the cap will be indexed for inflation.
Starting in 2013, the maximum annual FSA contribution by an employee is capped at $2,500. After that, the cap will be indexed for inflation.
Shorter wait for group health plan coverage
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, no group health plan waiting period can be more than 90 Days. That waiting period is defined as the period that must pass before an individual is eligible to be covered for benefits under the plan. All calendar days are counted beginning on the enrollment date, including weekends and holidays.
Small business option delayed
The Small Business Health Options Program was originally scheduled to provide small employers (defined as fewer than 100 employees) with a marketplace offering a variety of health plans beginning on January 1, 2014. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources has delayed this program until 2015. During 2014, employers in most states will be limited to one plan.