Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage; Proposed Rule (March 18, 2013)

Health Care

From the Church Alliance to the Internal Revenue Service commenting on how the proposed rule for shared responsibility for employers regarding health care (the “Pay or Play Rule”) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) should be applied carefully to church employers. The Pay or Play Rule should be applied to churches at the level of the local church (i.e., a local church, parish, mosque, temple, synagogue or other local place of worship) rather than at the level of the denomination (i.e., the national or highest level of a church in the case of a hierarchical church, or a convention or association of churches in the case of congregational churches) or the intermediate organization level of a denomination (e.g., regional organizations, such as conferences, presbyteries, synods, or dioceses). Moreover, future rulemaking applying the employer aggregation rules to church employers should be flexible enough to accommodate the unique governance structures of many denominations.