The Department of the Treasury will hold a consultation call this Friday, May 13 at 3:00 p.m. EDT to engage tribal leaders and their representatives in government-to-government consultation on the employer shared responsibility mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to tribal employers.
This call comes as a follow-up to the consultation in December where tribal governments uniformly suggested that the Administration exempt tribal employees that are Indian Health Service (IHS) eligible from the employer shared responsibility and, at a minimum, grant an extension of transition relief for the information reporting. NAFOA strongly encourages tribal governments to attend the call.
The ACA has imposed requirements for Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) to both offer full-time employees and their dependents certain minimum levels of health coverage, regardless if the employee is eligible for services through the IHS, tribal programs, or urban Indian programs or qualifies for the individual Indian health exemption. The ACA imposes a one-size-fits-all standard intended for corporations that disregards the federal government's trust responsibility to provide medical and public health services to members of federally recognized tribes and Alaska Natives.
Additionally, the Department of Treasury has not issued guidance on how the employer aggregation rules apply to tribal governments and their related entities. The lack of clear definitions regarding entity relationships and, thus, who is ultimately responsible for the ACA employer mandate penalty, further complicates the issue.