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Dale Vlasek was featured in "Enforcement of Nondiscrimination Rules for Insured Group Health Plan Delayed," published by RBMA

Enforcement of Nondiscrimination Rules for Insured Group Health Plan Delayed
By: Dale Vlasek

The Health Care Reform legislation made revisions to how employers provide health benefits. One of the more drastic was the application of nondiscrimination rules to insured group health plans. Technically, these non-discrimination rules only apply to nongrandfathered group health plans.

How these nondiscrimination rules will apply to what were previously common employer practices is uncertain. For example, is it permissible for a practice to pay 100% of a physician’s premium for family coverage while requiring staff to pay some or all of that same premium? May a plan permit individuals to voluntarily elect not to be covered because they are covered by a spouse’s coverage?

However, in response to numerous comments about the difficulty of compliance in the absence of guidance, the Internal Revenue Service in conjunction with the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services issued Notice 2011-1. In that Notice, these departments announced that compliance with the new nondiscrimination rules will not be required for plan years until regulations or other administrative guidance have been issued.

In short, nongrandfathered insured health plans are not required to comply with the nondiscrimination rules until further notice is provided. Employers should note, however, that the existing nondiscrimination rules applicable to self-funded group health plans continue to apply to both grandfathered and nongrandfathered self-funded plans.

View the Notice 2011-1 at: http://www.irs.gov/irb/2011-02_IRB/ar10.html

Reprinted with permission from RBMA RadCast May 17, 2011 issue.

http://www.rbma.org/Products_and_Resources/Legal_Resources/RBMA_Monthly_Legal_Update_Digest_May_2011.aspx