The IRS will not issue regulations on nondiscrimination rules applicable to insured health plans until after it has published regulations on employer “pay or play” (shared responsibility) duties, and if they have not issued nondiscrimination regulations by the end of June 2013 then, in keeping with the general requirement of at least six months’ advance notice of such changes, nondiscrimination rules likely will not apply in 2014.  In the meantime, the IRS non-enforcement policy set forth in Notice 2011-1 will remain in place. 

This was the gist of informal comments made on October 12, 2012 by Stephen Tackney, IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel (Employee Benefits), Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, and Kevin Knopf, from the Treasury Department’s Office of Benefits Counsel, at a two-day conference on health and welfare benefit plans, sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Joint Committee on Employee Benefits.

I did not attend the conference but confirmed the nature of the statements with a Wolter Kluwers/CCH journalist whose summary of the statements is posted here.  I will continue to post updates on the progress of nondiscrimination regulations as they become available.

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