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Supreme Court Upholds Health Reform Coverage Mandate


Last Thursday, we all heard the big news.  The 2010 health care reform law survived its encounter with the Supreme Court virtually intact.

With the constitutionality of the individual coverage mandate now settled, employers should be taking a close look at what they still need to do to comply with the various health care reform requirements.  For example:

  • Employers must start providing the new “summary of benefits and coverage” to applicants and enrollees starting with open enrollments conducted this fall.  We will be covering this topic in a future alert.
  • For many employers, W-2 reporting of the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage will be required starting with the 2012 tax year.
  • The $2,500 annual cap on health flexible spending accounts goes into effect for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2013.  Employers will need to amend their plans to comply with this requirement.
  • Play or pay” penalty tax provisions go into effect starting in 2014.  Employers subject to these provisions will have to pay IRS penalties if they fail to provide affordable health coverage to full-time employees.

Of course, it is possible that the health care reform law will be repealed.  Come November, we might even conclude that repeal of the law seems likely.  Nevertheless, it is all but impossible to predict what will happen in Washington, and for that reason employers should not make implementation decisions based on the expectation of any provisions of the law being repealed.

© 2020 Poyner Spruill LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume II, Number 184


About this Author

Hugh W. Davis II, Employee Benefits Attorney, Poyner Spruill Law Firm Raleigh, NC

Hugh practices in the area of Employee Benefits.  He is currently representing corporations and other entities in the design and operation of retirement and welfare benefit plans and executive compensation packages, including matters concerning ERISA and Internal Revenue Code compliance. In his experience, Hugh has represented qualified plan sponsors in restating their plans to comply with the EGTRRA and other changes in tax law, represented sponsors of employee stock ownership plans in connection with plan purchases of employer securities, including leveraged...

David L. Woodard, Employment Litigation Attorney, Poyner Spruill, Law firm

David practices in the area of employment litigation.  He regularly advises and defends clients in race, age, disability and sex discrimination and harassment cases; reviews handbooks and termination issues; and provides compliance advice on matters of employment law.

Representative Experience

McNeil v. Scotland County - Obtained summary judgment for employer where plaintiff alleged race discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as well as violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Successfully defended the judgment in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Williams v. City of Fayetteville - Obtained summary judgment on former employee’s claims of retaliation for exercising First Amendment rights, violations of due process, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.