Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Employer Guidance
By Oregon Farm Bureau
The link below provides an overview of the employer mandate contained in the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the health care reform law – and the applicability of the mandate to agricultural employers. This overview is based upon the language of the PPACA statute and guidance documents issued by government agencies interpreting the law.
While government agencies have provided several guidance documents, the guidance provides limited information about how several important requirements of the law, including the employer mandate to provide health care insurance coverage, will be implemented and interpreted. As a result, the information in this overview is subject to change based upon future guidance, interpretations and regulations. This analysis is based on what is known (and reasonably presumed) about the law as of October 2012.
In general, PPACA requires certain employers with more than 50 employees to provide health care insurance coverage for their full-time employees, or pay a penalty, beginning in 2014.
Determining whether the employer mandate applies to a specific agricultural employer is a complicated process that involves analyzing numerous technical definitions and multi-step tests. In addition, agricultural employers need to be mindful of the special consideration PPACA provides for seasonal workers, which make up a great deal of the agricultural workforce.
This overview focuses attempts to address the following questions:
Whether an employer is required to provide health insurance?
Which employees must be provided with health insurance?
What type of health insurance coverage must be provided?
When must the insurance coverage be provided?
What penalties employers face for not providing coverage?
Which employers do not have to provide coverage?
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