By Alden Bianchi, counsel, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and Ryan Moulder, general counsel, Accord Systems LLC
The Affordable Care Act ushered in major, structural changes affecting how health care is regulated and financed in the U.S. Among other things, the law added a series of market reforms that included such things as first-dollar preventive care, mandated coverage of dependents to age 26, and the elimination of lifetime and annual limits in the group and individual health insurance markets. The ACA also includes rules governing “employer shared responsibility.” These are the rules that require applicable large employers (those with 50 or more full time and full-time equivalent employees) to offer affordable health insurance coverage to their full-time employees or potentially face penalties. These provisions of the law are colloquiality known and referred to as the ACA’s “pay-or-play” rules, and they have proven particularly challenging to the staffing industry.