The Obama Administration has issued guidance to employers on how to determine which of their employees are considered full time and eligible for employer-sponsored health coverage, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Jennifer Hatcher, senior vice-president for government and public affairs at the Food Marketing Institute, says the White House has allowed for “maximum flexibility” for employers to “look back” up to one year to account for seasonality and fluctuating work schedules when determining coverage eligibility, as well as providing a safe harbor for employers who can demonstrate coverage does not exceed 9.5 percent of an employee’s wages. 
But with ACA’s employer mandates effective in less than 18 months and many other aspects to employer-sponsored coverage yet to be released, Hatcher says businesses need a transition period to evaluate all of ACA’s coverage rules in their entirety and to properly adjust plan designs to comply with the law’s regulations.