Rules on “Minimum Essential Coverage” and Contraception Benefits

Federal authorities implementing the health reform law issued several pieces of important guidance late last week, excusing the individual mandate for part of 2014 for individuals offered coverage under non-calendar year employer plans, and finalizing rules regarding “minimum essential coverage” and the controversial contraception benefit mandate.

  • Coverage under a non-calendar year employer plan. If an individual is offered at least minimum essential coverage under a non-calendar year employer health plan whose plan year begins in 2013 and ends in 2014, the individual is excused from the individual mandate through the last day of the 2013-14 plan year.
  • Minimum essential coverage and the individual mandate. In final regulations, federal authorities imposed no additional requirements on employer-supplied minimum essential coverage (MEC). Thus, it appears that some bare-bones coverage will indeed constitute MEC, opening up additional planning opportunities for some employers.
  • Contraception benefit mandate. In final regulations, the Administration offers wiggle room to quasi-religious nonprofit groups that hold themselves out as religious organizations and oppose (on religious grounds) providing contraception benefits under a health plan.

Edward Fensholt, J.D.
Health Reform Advisory Practice
Lockton Companies, LLC

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About thebenefitblog

Eric is a Producer at Lockton Insurance Brokers, Inc., the world’s largest privately held commercial broker. Eric has over 23 years of experience in the insurance industry and has spent the last 11 years with Lockton. Eric specializes in Health & Welfare Benefits, Retirement Planning, and Executive Benefits. Eric's clients utilize his expertise in the areas of Plan Due Diligence, Transaction Structure, Fiduciary Oversight, Investment Design, Compliance and Vendor negotiation to improve the operational & financial outcome for each client. The Benefit Blog is a place to share that expertise and industry news.
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