On January 29, 2014, the IRS updated its list of priority projects for the period ending July 1, 2014.  Though expressly disclaiming any promise to compete any listed project by any certain date, the IRS included among its unfinished priorities these much-needed ACA rules and guidance documents.

  • Regulations amending §1.419A-2T relating to collectively-bargained welfare benefit funds.
  • Regulations under §4980G on the interaction of §4980G and §125 with respect to comparable employer contributions to employees’ HSAs.
  • Final regulations on shared responsibility for employers regarding health coverage under §4980H, as added by §1513 of the ACA. Proposed regulations were published on January 2, 2013.
  • Final regulations on the annual fee on branded prescription drug manufacturers and importers under §9008 of the ACA. Temporary and proposed regulations were published on August 8, 2011.
  • Final regulations under §§501(r) and 6033 on additional requirements for charitable hospitals as added by §9007 of the ACA. Proposed regulations were published on June 26, 2012 and April 5, 2013.
  • Regulations under §36B, as added by §1401 of the ACA, regarding minimum value of eligible employer-sponsored coverage and other provisions relating to the health insurance premium tax credit. Proposed regulations were published on May 3, 2013.
  • Final regulations under §36B, as added by §1401 of the ACA, regarding information reporting by Affordable Insurance Exchanges. Proposed regulations were published on July 2, 2013.

The § 4980H (aka “employer mandate”) final rules have been postponed repeatedly.  Though it’s good to know that the IRS is hard at work on them, there is no guarantee that we will see these badly needed rules soon.

What’s missing?  Perhaps most importantly, rules on fully-insured plan discrimination favoring the highly compensated.  Reporters were told several times in the last month that these rules are being delayed again, in order to reconcile them with a re-draft of existing rules prohibiting such discrimination by self-insured plans.  Even longer overdue are rules implementing the automatic enrollment mandate for large employers, but the Department of Labor has that project.