David Green Article: Tying Up Health Care Benefits Loose Ends

New York Employment Law Letter

David Green, Counsel in the Employee Benefits practice in the New York office, wrote an article titled "Tying Up Health Care Benefits Loose Ends."

Here is an excerpt:

This year has been full of benefits news, with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) leading the way. There is clearly an uneasiness among HR executives that they will miss something that needs to be done as year-end ap­proaches. The following is a brief rundown of points for HR and benefits executives to consider.

Many benefits provisions are applicable to a plan year — the 12-month cycle a plan uses for government reporting and financial statements. The large majority of plans operate on a calendar-year basis, so for simplicity, all references are to calendar-year plans. Employers operating on a noncalendar-year basis (perhaps matching its fiscal year for financial re­porting) will want to keep in mind that the provisions may be effective at a different time (often later), except when noted that the effective date is without regard to the plan's year-end.

Many provisions of the PPACA are either not effective until 2014 or do not directly concern employers. Also, some provisions will not apply — or apply in different ways — to plans in effect on March 23, 2010 (grandfathered plans), which aren't significantly affected. There are, however, a few provisions effective in 2010 or on January 1, 2011 (for most plans), that deserve attention.