Health Care Reform: Guidance for Employers Contributing to Multiemployer Welfare Plans
A number of employer and business groups continue to request relief on various aspects of the pay or play mandate, which is set to take effect in 2014. Thankfully, the IRS issued a technical correction to its pay or play rules on March 15 which provides much-needed relief to employers who contribute to multiemployer welfare plans. Under pay or play rules, employers must offer coverage to at least 95% of their full-time employees, or they will be required to pay a substantial tax. In its technical correction, the IRS stated that employers will effectively “offer” coverage to employees as long as they are required by a collective bargaining agreement to make contributions for such employees to a multiemployer welfare fund which provides coverage that is affordable, provides minimum value, and provides coverage to those individuals’ dependents. We expect that the vast majority of multiemployer welfare plans will provide minimum value. Employers should ensure that the level of employee contributions, if any, to a multiemployer welfare plan satisfy the affordability criteria set forth in regulations.