U.S. moves to lighten employers’ reporting burden under obama health law
AP/Carolyn KasterBarack
REUTERS

The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday issued proposed rules that would ease the administrative requirements for companies and insurers when they report employees’ health coverage information to comply with President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.

The proposed regulations are a key element of the employer mandate portion of the law. Implementation of the rules had been delayed while the Treasury Department attempted to simplify them to address concerns of employers.

The law, known as Obamacare, requires employers with 50 or more workers to offer their full-time employees a minimum level of health insurance coverage or be subject to a fee.

In July, the administration delayed the effective date for the reporting and for the mandate itself to 2015 from 2014.

The proposal issued Thursday would, among other things, eliminate the need for employers to determine whether particular employees are full-time if adequate coverage is offered to all “potentially full-time employees.”

It also would let employers report specific costs for health plans only if the cost is above a certain threshold dollar amount.

Retailers in particular had complained about the law’s detailed reporting requirements and a trade group commended the Obama administration for taking action to soften the burden of the law.

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