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The Wagner Law Group Description 

The Wagner Law Group, A Professional Corporation, is a nationally recognized ERISA & employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor & human resources practice. 


Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group has 23 attorneys engaged exclusively in employee benefits, estate planning and employment law. Seven of our attorneys are AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell as having very high to preeminent legal abilities and ethical standards. The firm is among the largest ERISA boutiques in the country. Our practice is national in scope, with clients in more than 40 states and several foreign countries.



Contact Info

The Wagner Law Group


  Integrity | Excellence


Massachusetts Office 

Tel: (617) 357-5200 

Fax: (617) 357-5250 

99 Summer Street 

13th Floor

Boston, MA 02110

Florida Office 

Tel: (561) 293-3590
Fax: (561) 293-3591
7108 Fairway Drive
Suite 125
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418


San Francisco Office

Tel: (415) 625-0002

Fax: (415) 358-8300

315 Montgomery Street

Suite 904

San Francisco, CA 94104





July 3, 2013 

 State and Federal Law Alert


PPACA's Employer Penalties Delayed Until 2015


The Obama Administration has announced a one-year delay in the employer "play-or-pay" penalties contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA"). Under PPACA, employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees are subject to one of two play-or-pay penalties if they fail to comply with PPACA's "employer shared responsibility" provisions.


The first penalty applies if: (i) an employer fails to offer health care coverage to "substantially all" of its full-time employees; and (ii) a low-income, full-time employee receives a premium tax credit through an Exchange. In those situations, the employer must pay an annual penalty of $2,000 multiplied by number of full-time employees in excess of 30.


The other penalty applies in situations where: (i) an employer offers health care coverage to its full-time employees that is either "unaffordable" or does not provide "minimum value;" and (ii) a low-income, full-time employee receives a premium tax credit through an Exchange. In such situations, the employer must pay an annual penalty of $3,000 for each full-time employee who receives the premium tax credit. However, this penalty is capped at $2,000 multiplied by the number of full-time employees in excess of 30.


On July 2, 2013, the Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a statement that "the Administration has been engaging in a dialogue with businesses....We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively....And we are taking action." The statement goes on to say that the play-or-pay penalties will be delayed for one year, from 2014 to 2015.


The delay in the effective date of these employer penalties raises some additional questions, such as whether the Administration also intends to delay PPACA's individual shared responsibility provision which requires individuals either to be insured by "minimum essential coverage" or to pay a penalty on their federal tax returns. Also, if the Administration believes the play-or-pay penalties are too complex to implement at this time, will it also delay other provisions of PPACA, such as the equally complex prohibition against group health plans having waiting periods in excess of 90 days?


In addition, the state Exchanges are to be operational by January 1, 2014, with open enrollment periods beginning in October. However, insurers participating in the Exchanges are setting their rates based on the implementation of both the employer and the individual shared responsibility provisions. It remains to be seen what effect the delay of the play-or-pay penalties will have on coverages marketed through the Exchanges.



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Pursuant to Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we hereby inform you that any advice set forth herein with respect to US federal tax issues is not intended or written by The Wagner Law Group to be used and cannot be used, by you or any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code.


This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.