When do benefits kick in for workers
under healthcare reform?
[Page 2 of 2]
The IRS established a similar set of safe harbor rules for
new employees (essentially allowing an employer either to make
a good-faith classification of a new hire or to employ an
initial measurement period methodology). The IRS also
“clarified” that no mandate requirements apply to
new hires during any initial waiting period. This is provided
that the waiting period does not exceed 90 days (the ACA
statutory maximum). Although you would think this should be
self-evident, it was not, and this issue created a lot of
analyst commentary and concern.
These developments obviously are no panacea. For example, if
you have seasonal workers who work eight months a year for
60-70 hours per week, they will not be exempt from the mandate.
But the safe harbor rules should be very helpful to a good
swath of those who employ part-time and/or seasonal
To best take advantage of these opportunities, your affected
clients will be well served to evaluate and implement a safe
harbor regime, and sooner rather than later.
Sinder, a partner with Steptoe & Johnson, is CIAB