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Rules for equal coverage by employers remain elusive under health law

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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is delaying enforcement of another provision of the new health care law, one that prohibits employers from providing better health benefits to top executives than to other employees.

Tax officials said they would not enforce the provision this year because they had yet to issue regulations for employers to follow.

The health care law, adopted nearly four years ago, says employer-sponsored health plans must not discriminate “in favor of highly compensated individuals” with respect to either eligibility or benefits.

The government provides a substantial tax break for employer-sponsored insurance, and, as a matter of equity and fairness, lawmakers said employers should not provide more generous coverage to a select group of highly-paid employees. But translating that into reality can be difficult.

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