Health care reform has ushered in sweeping changes for employers and group health plans. Although many provisions will not take effect until 2014 or later, a number of provisions take effect this year and in 2011. Employers need to know aboutâ??and prepare forâ??the changes that will have a more immediate impact on them and their employees. The new laws implementing health care reform are the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Insurance act.
Special Rules for new Plans:
Plans in effect on March 23, 2010, will be considered to be “grandfathered” and, therefore, not subject to certain health care reform changes. Regulatory guidance is expected regarding how and to what extent a grandfathered plan may be changed in the future without jeopardizing the plan’s grandfathered status. Grandfathered plan exceptions to the new legislation are highlighted below.
Employers that receive the Medicare Part D retiree drug subsidy will not be able to deduct retiree drug expenses to the extent of the subsidy after 2012. Right now, however, employers will have to reflect a write-down of the book value of the deferred-income tax asset to reflect the loss of the deduction.
The maximum benefit that employers may provide under adoption assistance programs is increased to $13,170 for 2010. Employers with 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees may be eligible for a tax credit of up to 35 percent of the premiums paid by the employer.