Late yesterday, the Obama Administration announced a one-year delay of the employer mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Employers with more than 50 full-time employees will not be required to provide insurance coverage for their workers until 2015.
This delay means that businesses that do not provide health insurance in 2014 will not be penalized.
Formal guidance describing the transition is expected to be published within the coming week.
In announcing this delay, Mark Mazur, the Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, wrote that the one-year delay also will allow the administration time to simplify the new reporting requirements.
In a blog post, Mazur wrote that the Administration expects to publish rules this summer for implementing provisions on: information reporting (under section 6055) by insurers, self-insuring employers, and other parties that provide health coverage; and information reporting (under section 6056) by certain employers with respect to the health coverage offered to their full-time employees.
The Administration is encouraging employers, insurers and other reporting entities to voluntarily implement this information reporting in 2014, however, in preparation for the full application of the provisions in 2015.
The Administration added that it is extending the delay to employers shared responsibility payments. (For small businesses with less than 50 workers, the law’s employer shared responsibility policies do not apply. Instead, those businesses will gain access to the Small Business Health Options Program that gives them the purchasing power of large businesses. Small businesses with less than 50 workers may be eligible for a tax credit that covers up to half the cost of insurance if quality coverage is offered to employees.)
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