JULY 5, 2013
ACA's Employer Mandate Delayed One Year
On July 2, the Obama administration announced a one year delay in the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) "employer mandate" — the requirement that "large" businesses (those with 50 or more employees) offer coverage to their full-time workers or pay a penalty. This mandate is now expected to take effect in January 2015.
In speaking with both businesses and insurers, the administration found the current employer reporting requirements to be too complex to implement in the first year. The reporting rules require large businesses and insurers to report to the government on every individual insured. Officials vowed to spend the extra year simplifying the requirements for both employers and insurers.
The administration has made clear that the Health Insurance Exchanges and the individual mandate to obtain health coverage or pay a penalty will be unaffected by the delay. Officials stated that eligible employees may access premium tax credits available in the Exchanges and that, during the new delay, neither the employer nor employee would face a penalty for the eligible employee's purchase of an Exchange product using the tax credit.
It is unclear whether the delay will affect other provisions of the ACA tied to the large group market in 2014. The US Treasury Department has stated it will issue official guidance to insurers, self-insuring employers and other parties that provide health coverage. EmblemHealth will continue to keep you informed on how the delay and new guidance will impact health reform and its implementation.
If you have any questions, please contact your EmblemHealth sales representative.