HR Health & Safety FAQ

How does the “play or pay” provision of the health care reform law work?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 includes two play or pay provisions: one for individuals and one for employers. Both are set to start in 2014, although there are a number of pending legal challenges to these requirements that could change the rules. As the law stands currently, all individuals will have to be covered by health insurance or pay a fine; help will be available for those who can’t afford coverage. The employer mandate requires employers with at least 50 employees to provide health care coverage for employees or pay a fine. Even employers who provide coverage may have to pay a fine, depending on the benefits provided, their cost, and employees’ ability to pay. For more information, see Nolo’s article Health Care Reform: What Employers and Employees Need to Know.

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