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Fruit and Vegetable Growers Face Confusion with Obamacare

January 9, 2014

Many farmers won't be required to offer their employees health insurance under the Affordable Care Act because they have less than 50 employees. However, Fruit and Vegetable farmers hire many of their workers on a seasonal basis which complicates their situation with regards to the ACA. Varnum Employee Benefits attorney Nancy Farnam spoke on this subject at the Michigan Farm Bureau annual meeting in Grand Rapids in early December.

Farnam said that there are special accounting rules pertaining to seasonal employees, who typically would not be considered full-time employees because they don’t work on any given farm year-round. She believes that seasonal farm workers will generally be excluded by the special accounting rules. However, she said, “The downside is that the farmers will actually have to keep track of everybody’s hours. It’s going to be a whole new administrative burden (on the farmer) unless the final guidance comes up with something that says that short-term employees are excluded altogether from this — which they haven’t done yet.”

Read the full Grand Rapids Business Journal article here:

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