Skip to main content

The 2024 ACA pay or play penalty will increase: What to know

aca pay or play penalty

The IRS has updated penalty amounts for 2024 related to the employer shared responsibility (pay or play) rules under the Affordable Care Act. For calendar year 2024, the adjusted ACA pay or play penalty amounts increased as follows:

  • $2,000 penalty amount is now $2,970; and
  • $3,000 penalty amount is now $4,460.

Pay or play penalty calculations

Under ACA pay or play rules, an applicable large employer is only liable for a penalty if at least one full-time employee receives a subsidy for exchange coverage. Employees who are offered affordable, minimum value coverage are generally not eligible for these exchange subsidies.

Depending on the circumstances, one of two penalties may apply under the pay or play rules: the 4980H(a) penalty or the 4980H(b) penalty.

  • Under Section 4980H(a), an applicable large employer will be subject to a penalty if it does not offer coverage to “substantially all” (generally, at least 95%) of its full-time employees (and dependents) and any one of its full-time employees receives a subsidy toward their exchange plan. The monthly penalty assessed on ALEs that do not offer coverage to substantially all full-time employees and their dependents is equal to the ALE’s number of full-time employees (minus 30) multiplied by 1/12 of $2,000 (as adjusted) for any applicable month.
  • Under Section 4980H(b), ALEs that offer coverage to substantially all full-time employees (and dependents) may still be subject to a penalty if at least one full-time employee obtains a subsidy through an exchange because the ALE did not offer coverage to all full-time employees, or the ALE’s coverage is unaffordable or does not provide minimum value. The monthly penalty assessed on an ALE for each full-time employee who receives a subsidy is 1/12 of $3,000 (as adjusted) for any applicable month. However, the total penalty for an ALE is limited to the 4980H(a) penalty amount.

IRS pay or play penalty resources

The IRS provides a variety of resources on the pay or play provisions, which provide more information on calculating the penalty. Employers can use the following two IRS webpages for more details:

Important dates and next steps

  • Aug. 16, 2022: The IRS released updated pay or play penalty amounts for 2023.
  • March 9, 2023: The IRS released updated pay or play penalty amounts for 2024.
  • 2024 calendar year: The 2024 penalty amounts apply for failures to offer affordable, minimum value coverage during the 2024 calendar year.

If you have questions about how the pay or play rules apply, contact us today to speak with our team of experts.

This Legal Update is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. ©2023 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Popular posts from this blog

COVID-19: Retirement and Benefit Plan Resources

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, we are closely monitoring news and updates from top sources. We’ll be updating this section as new developments unfold. Here are several key articles and links to help plan sponsors and administrators navigate the COVID-19 impact to retirement and benefit plans: Retirement Plans 4 Key CARES Act Provisions for Retirement Plan Sponsors Markets React to Coronavirus   Important Considerations for Retirement Plan Sponsors during the Coronavirus Pandemic In Fed We Trust Participant Education Services: Timely Help from a Safe Distance CRDs 100% Taxable for New York State and Local Income Tax Purposes in 2020 IRS Permits Remote Notarization of Participant Elections   Employee Benefits CARES Act Expands Health Coverage Rules Understanding the Historic $2 Trillion Stimulus Package Employee Compensation and Benefits During Closures and Furloughs DOL Clarifies Exemptions to Coronavirus Paid Leave Laws Small Business Exemption to

SECURE 2.0 Discussion Series: Session One

SECURE 2.0 provisions: What we know and what’s still up in the air The SECURE 2.0 Act, signed into law in late December 2022, has factored heavily in retirement industry discourse since the final legislation was published. As with any legislation of this depth and breadth, there’s a lot to digest and the industry takes time to adjust. Our team of experienced advisors recently met to discuss some of the more nuanced provisions of the legislation, such as changes to Roth contributions, and what they could mean for plan sponsors. Panel participants included the following HBS team members: Noah Buck, Christina Bauer-Dobias, Sean Bayne, Vincent Bocchinfuso and Kathleen Coonan. Highlights of our panel’s conversation below should serve to help guide plan sponsor thinking. On Roth employer contributions NB – In addition to deferring pre-tax or Roth, plan sponsors can now allow employer contributions to be classified as Roth, is that right? VB – Correct. This is immediately available to plan s

SECURE 2.0 Discussion Series: Session Two

The retirement industry has been buzzing since the SECURE 2.0 Act was signed into law last December. This new, comprehensive legislation has sparked a lot of discussion. As with any major reform, it will take time for the industry to fully adapt and understand all its implications. Following our April 11 webinar on the first three months of the industry’s response, our team reconvened to discuss some of what we have heard from our client and vendor partners and to respond to some of the great questions we heard from attendees. Panel participants included the following HBS team members: Noah Buck, Christina Bauer-Dobias, Sean Bayne, Vincent Bocchinfuso and Kathleen Coonan. The Discussion SB – Throughout the webinar, I wanted to stress two things: 1) confusion about where to start and what is expected from plan sponsors is normal; and 2) even more than three months in, this is a developing situation and people should expect changes as time goes on. With those in mind, engagement through