How the Affordable Care Act affects globally mobile employees

Global Watch ()
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called ‘Obamacare’ or the ‘Affordable Care Act’ (ACA), was signed into law on March 23, 2010 but many of its most significant provisions became effective on January 1, 2014.  The ACA imposes new requirements and related penalties for both individuals and employers regarding health insurance coverage.  But how does the ACA affect globally mobile employees, e.g., those on a long-term assignment to the US or abroad, or who frequently cross borders on business travel?  When do the ACA requirements stop or begin for both the assignee and the employer?  

This article provides broad highlights of some of the ACA requirements and penalties that could apply to globally mobile employees and their employers under guidance released so far.  The details of the ACA requirements are complicated and evolving. Although not all guidance has been finalized, global mobility professionals should think about taking some proactive steps now to prepare.