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Final Regulations on Orientation Periods Released

March 2017

On June 20, the Federal regulatory agencies in charge of health care reform guidance (the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services) released final regulations ("Final Regulations") clarifying the relationship between a group health plan's eligibility criteria and the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) 90-day limit on waiting periods. Specifically, the Final Regulations (published in the June 25 Federal Register) address an employer's ability to require new employees to satisfy a "reasonable and bona fide employment-based orientation period" before starting a group health plan's waiting period.

The Final Regulations on orientation periods are effective for plan years beginning in 2015. (For the remainder of 2014, employers may rely on the proposed regulations on orientation periods that were released in February 2014 and which are substantively identical to the Final Regulations.)

To learn more about the impact of this and other health care reform decisions, please visit Peel & Holland University, where we have posted a document titled Final Regulations on Orientation Periods Released.

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