Proposed GINA Rules IRS Officials Talk Play or Play Issues

Proposed GINA Rules IRS Officials Talk Play or Play Issues

Our Thinking / Healthcare /

Proposed GINA Rules IRS Officials Talk Play or Play Issues
Calendar06 November 2015

Proposed Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rules clarify that an employer offering limited incentives for spouses covered by its group health plan to complete health risk assessments asking about their health status will not violate the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) if certain conditions are met. The proposal limits the combined incentives for a married couple to 30% of the annual costs of the health plan in which the employee and spouse are enrolled and provides a somewhat complex allocation formula. Offering inducements for similar information about an employee's children, however, would violate GINA.

Employers using the lookback method to measure employees' full-time status under the ACA will want to consider unofficial IRS advice on how to handle a lengthy unpaid leave or a change from full-time to nonfull-time work shortly after hire. At a May 2015 meeting of the American Bar Association's Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, IRS staff offered informal responses to two questions (Q&As 21 and 22) on these lookback scenarios. Although the Q&As lack the authority of official IRS guidance, they offer some insights into novel play-or-pay issues not addressed elsewhere.

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