The Obama Administration is postponing a much-touted provision of the new healthcare law which bars employers from providing better benefits to top executives than to other employees, reports the New York Times.
Internal Revenue Service officials told the Times that they would not enforce the provision this year because they had yet to issue regulations for employers to follow.
Adopted nearly four years ago, the Affordable Care Act says employer-sponsored health plans cannot discriminate “in favor of highly compensated individuals” with respect to either eligibility or benefits. The law allows for a substantial tax break for employer-sponsored insurance, and lawmakers said employers should not provide more generous coverage to a select group of high-paid employees. Reaching that goal, however, has proved difficult.
The I.R.S. told the Times that they were wrestling with complicated factors like how to measure the value of employee health benefits, how to define “highly compensated” and what exactly constitutes discrimination.
Bruce I. Friedland, a spokesperson for the I.R.S., told the Times that employers would not have to comply until the agency issued regulations or other guidance.
President Barack Obama signed the health care law in March 2010. The ban on discriminatory health benefits was supposed to take effect six months later, but Administration officials reportedly said then that they needed more time to develop rules.
A law banning similar discrimination was adopted more than 30 years ago for employers who serve as their own insurers. Now it extends to employers who buy insurance from companies like Aetna, Cigna, Humana and WellPoint, or from local Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, the Times reports.
The provision could eventually be great for workers, the Obama Administration says.
“Under the Affordable Care Act, for the first time, all group health plans will be prohibited from offering coverage only to their highest-paid employees,” Erin Donar, a Treasury spokesperson, told the Times. “The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury are working on rules that will implement this requirement.”
The equal coverage delay is the latest in series of extensions to hit the rollout of Obamacare, which is sure to become an issue during mid-term elections.
The White House has delayed a requirement that larger employers offer coverage to full-time employees and delayed online enrollment in the federal insurance exchange for small businesses. It waived major provisions of the 2010 health law so consumers could renew policies that would otherwise have been canceled or terminated because they did not meet the law’s coverage requirements.
Additionally, the administration announced that people with canceled insurance policies could obtain hardship exemptions shielding them from tax penalties if they went uncovered this year.
A thorny issue confronting the I.R.S. is whether an employer is in violation of the law if it offers the same health insurance to all employees but large numbers of low-paid workers turn down the offer and instead obtain coverage from other sources, like a health insurance exchange, the Times reports.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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