· The employee was offered benefits at Open Enrollment as a FT employee and waived coverage.
· The employee was offered benefits based on average hours worked over either the standard measurement period of the initial measurement period and waived coverage.
However I had a client call into the 800 number on the form and were told to “appeal everything”. I thought this was odd so I called into the 800 number as well and had a very long talk with the folks at CMS.
I was told that it is up to the employer but that they are suggesting to appeal everything “just to be on the safe side”. Which if I have to decode that means they are afraid that the system isn’t going to work like it should and penalties might go out in error, so even the part-timers that technically did receive the subsidy correctly should be appealed. The problem in that case is that there really isn’t anything to appeal, because they got the subsidy legitimately. On the appeal form it states:
Use the space below to explain why this employee shouldn’t have been eligible for advance payments of the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions (if applicable). Use extra paper, if necessary. If you’re including documents to support your request, send us copies. Keep all original documents.
The issue is that they are in fact eligible. I explained this to the CMS rep and he agreed but just said his suggestion would be to explain the issue thoroughly in that section again “to be on the safe side”. So at the end of the day it’s up to employers if they want to appeal, they technically shouldn’t have to appeal those non-full time employees. However, based on these recent conversations I am worried that if employers don’t appeal, something might fall through the cracks and they will wind up having to fight a penalty. Employers very well may choose to put in the extra effort and appeal everything to ensure they wind up “on the safe side” of this issue.