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Health Care Reform: Pay or Play Rules: Excluded Hours

Learn what services are considered as excluded hours in terms of Health Care Reform and the Pay or Play rules --- via CBG Benefits.When it comes to calculating their responsibility to the “Pay or Play” rules under Health Care Reform, employers have been provided with an extensive listing of guidance on how to calculate their full-time employees. For example, there are specific methods available to employers that need to count their non-hourly employees.

Another area that is covered in the guidance is in regards to “excluded hours.” While the Treasury and IRS are continuing to consider additional rules to help employers address employees whose hours are challenging to track, here is an overview of services performed that may not be counted as an hour of service:

  • Bona fide volunteers: Hours worked by a volunteer who does not receive (and is not entitled to receive) compensation in exchange for the performance of services are not treated as hours of service for purposes of the employer mandate. This includes volunteers whose only compensation is in the form of reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of services by volunteers or reasonable benefits and nominal fees.
  • Real Estate Agents: The categories of workers identified in section 3508 (that is, real estate agents and direct sellers) are not treated as employees for purposes of the employer mandate. Therefore, the hours of service worked by these employees are not taken into account.
  • Work-study Program Participants: According to the latest regulations, the term hour of service does not include services that are performed as part of a federal work-study program or a substantially similar program of a state or political subdivision.
  • Members of Religious Orders: While further guidance may still be issued on this topic, religious order is permitted to not count as an hour of service any work performed by an individual who is subject to a vow of poverty as a member of that order when the work is in the performance of tasks usually required of an active member of the order.

Additional Information

I hope that you find this summary helpful as you seek to understand how Health Care Reform impacts your business. CBG Benefits will continue to monitor closely for further legislative updates in areas such as the ones discussed here.

If you’d like to learn how your company fares under the current rules, please contact me today at 781-759-1222.


Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Posted in: Benefits and Insurance, Human Resources, Legislation

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