Tribal Consultation on the ACA Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate


Tribal Consultation on the ACA Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate

November 17, 2015

The Department of the Treasury will hold a conference call on Tuesday, December 1 at 2:00 p.m. EST to engage tribal leaders and their representatives in government-to-government consultation on the employer shared responsibility mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The discussion will focus on the application of the employer shared responsibility provisions to tribal employers. NAFOA strongly encourages tribal governments to attend the call.

NAFOA has heard from tribal governments and tribal organizations who have strongly suggested that the Administration exempt tribes from the employer shared responsibility and, at a minimum, grant an extension of transition relief to January of 2017. An extension will allow tribes time to clarify the applicability of the shared responsibility mandate of the ACA.

Areas of Concern:


Many tribes were not aware that tribes, acting as employers, are not exempt from coverage and the IRS reporting requirements and that non-compliance can bring significant penalties.


Tribes who have employees with access to Indian Health Service have not historically provided insurance to their employees. These tribes commented that they were not aware they must purchase insurance for tribal member employees, who are otherwise exempt from the individual mandate.


There has been confusion on the determination of "collective full-time employees" (§ 4980H), which includes all entities under the umbrella of the tribe (ex: police departments, head start programs, I.H.S. facilities, housing authorities, enterprises, etc).


The employer shared responsibility mandate creates an administrative hardship, especially for small tribes that employ less than 50 employees but have enterprises with significantly more employees.


Considerable planning and execution across tribal departments will be required to complete the tax information returns, which requires reporting on a month-by-month basis of whom the coverage was offered to (employee, spouse, dependent), and employee share of lowest cost monthly minimum essential coverage option.

For questions or comments, please contact Jennifer Parisien at or (202) 558-8040.

Conference Call Information

Date: 12/01/15

Time: 2:00 p.m. EST

Conference Call: (888) 603-7091 Passcode: 2205272

This call is for tribal consultation.  It is off the record and not for press purposes.