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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 22 attorneys engaged exclusively in employee benefits, estate planning and employment law. Six 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







February 27, 2015


 Health and Welfare Law Alert




IRS Provides Transition Relief for Small Employer Health Premium Reimbursements  




The IRS has issued Notice 2015-17 to provide small employers with temporary, retroactive relief from the excise tax imposed on health premium reimbursement arrangements that fail to meet the Affordable Care Act's ("ACA's") mandates regarding group health plans. Small employers that have reimbursed employee individual health insurance policy premiums may benefit from this relief.


Background. The IRS views an arrangement under which an employer reimburses an employee's individual health insurance premium to be a group health plan subject to various ACA mandates, including the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits on essential health benefits and the requirement for unlimited, first-dollar coverage for preventive care services. (See the Alert of 5/29/14.) Premium reimbursement arrangements cannot satisfy either of these ACA mandates.


The IRS has stated that premium reimbursement arrangements violate the ACA. As a result, beginning in 2014, employers that maintain these arrangements became subject to a $100-per-day-per-employee penalty. The penalty is to be reported and paid by the employer, using Form 8928.


Transition Relief in Notice 2015-17. Notice 2015-17 provides retroactive relief from the $100-per-day-per-employee penalty for the following two situations: 

  • Small employers (under 50 full-time and full-time equivalent employees) who directly pay or reimburse individual health insurance policy premiums of employees from January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.
  • S corporations that reimburse or directly pay individual health insurance policy premiums for over 2% shareholder-employees from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015. 

For 2014, the determination of an employer's status as a small employer is based on the employer's 2013 calendar-year work force, and for the first half of 2015, the determination is based on 2014. An employer may take advantage of prior guidance allowing the determination to be based on any consecutive 6-month period during the prior year.


Action Steps for Employers. Small employers that have been paying or reimbursing premiums for individual insurance contracts must stop doing so by June 30, 2015 to avoid being subject to the $100-per-day-per-employee penalty.





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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.