Expecting the Supreme Court to strike down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) (in whole or in large part), some employers took a “wait and see” approach to implementing a strategy to address employer obligations under the ACA. Now that the Supreme Court of the United States has made it clear the ACA stands (absent a Congressional repeal), employers must educate themselves and develop plans to comply with the requirements that take effect in the next 18 months.

The ACA is extremely complex and nuanced and many employer obligations are dependent upon the size of the company. Generally, however, employers should be aware of the following significant requirements:

  • Employers must provide employees with a Uniform Summary of Benefits and Coverage (for open enrollment periods beginning on or after September 23, 2012);
  • Employers must report the total cost of any group health plan coverage provided to an employee on the employee’s Form W-2 (beginning with 2012 W-2 forms);
  • Employers must amend cafeteria plans to reflect the $2,500.00 maximum amount employees can contribute to flexible spending accounts (beginning January 2013);
  • “Play or pay” mandate will require employers with 50 or more employees to provide adequate and subsidized group health plan coverage to all full-time employees and their family or be subject to a per employee penalty per year (beginning in 2014); and
  • Large employers (200+ employees) will be required to automatically enroll new employees in a group health plan (likely becomes effective in 2014).

These are just a few of the ACA requirements. It is important to make sure your company complies with its health care reform obligations. Should you wish to receive further information, please contact Tanya M. Reed at 561-650-0579 or

This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

Established in 1925, Gunster is one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service law firms. The firm’s clients include international, national and local businesses, institutions, local governments and prominent individuals. Gunster maintains its presence in Florida with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, Vero Beach and West Palm Beach. Gunster is home to more than 165 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, providing counsel to clients through 18 practice groups including banking & financial services; business litigation; construction; corporate; environmental & land use; government affairs; health care; immigration; international; labor & employment; leisure & resorts; private wealth services; probate, trust & guardianship litigation; professional malpractice; real estate; securities and corporate governance; tax; and technology & entrepreneurial companies. Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 250 largest law firms.


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