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Employers and unions alike are scrambling to come to terms with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which establishes new rules for employment-related health coverage. Employers, however, currently face a heavier compliance burden than unions because of the employer mandate, which becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2014. Under the employer mandate, if an employer fails to offer all full-time employees and their dependents the opportunity to enroll in minimum essential coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan, the employer risks crippling liability. Smaller penalties can be triggered when the coverage offered fails to meet a “minimum value” or an “affordability” requirement.

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