Author: Tracy Morley, XpertHR Legal Editor

On March 18, 2013, the US Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury jointly released proposed regulations implementing the 90-day waiting period limitation under the Affordable Care Act. Under the proposed regulations group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group health insurance coverage cannot impose a waiting period that exceeds 90 days.

Under the proposed regulations 'waiting period' would continue to be defined as the period that must pass before coverage for an employee or dependent who is otherwise eligible to enroll under the terms of the group health plan can become effective. The proposed regulations also amend existing requirements such as preexisting condition limitations and other portability provisions added by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The proposed regulations are consistent with the guidance issued in August 2012. Comments on the proposed regulations are requested and are due on or before May 20, 2013.