On July 2nd, the Obama administration announced that it will delay by one year the enforcement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) employer mandate requiring employers with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance to their employees. While the delay of the employer mandate certainly provides some breathing room, it is important to take this time to engage in the planning and preparation needed to be ready for 2015. The delay is a reprieve, not a reversal.
What it Means for Employers
Specifically, the administration delayed the following requirements until 2015:
- The PPACA’s requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees offer coverage to their workers or pay a penalty;
- Reporting requirements (under section 6055) for insurers, self-insuring employers, and other parties that provide health coverage; and,
- Reporting requirements (under section 6056) for certain employers with respect to the health coverage offered to their full-time employees.
In addition, Valerie Jarrett, who is a Senior Advisor to President Obama responsible for domestic policy, commented on the delay of the employer mandate at the White House blog site.
The Obama Administration is expected to issue more detailed guidance in the next several weeks to implement these delays.
What it Means for Individuals
As of now, the public healthcare exchanges are still scheduled to open in 2014 and the individual mandate requiring individuals to obtain coverage will be effective for 2014. This means worksite employees without health insurance coverage may purchase health insurance in these exchanges starting October 1, 2013.
Employers have until 2015 to comply with the challenging requirements set forth under the ACA, and there is no better time to get started than now.
SBS will continue to stay on top of the ACA developments that affect you, and communicate up-to-the-minute information and guidance as the situation develops.