On Tuesday, July 2, the Treasury Department announced its determination to delay enforcement of a portion of the Affordable Care Act which required certain large employers to provide health insurance for employees. Firms that have more than 50 employees have been granted a reprieve from the Obama Administration and now have until 2015 before they will be required to face the decision whether to provide health coverage to employees or face stiff sanctions. The original mandate, as set forth in the Affordable Care Act of 2010, requires that companies with 50 or more employees provide health benefits to full-time employees or face fines starting at $2,000 per full-time employee. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the decision to implement the enforcement delay was precipitated by concerns from a number of parties regarding the complexity of the new employer and insurer reporting requirements which go along with the mandate. The Feds hope to advance two goals through this 1-year extension. First, the Administration hopes to utilize the delay as an opportunity for more time to consider methods to simplify the new reporting requirements that are consistent with the Affordable Care Act. The second goal is to allow more time for the adaptation of health coverage and reporting systems as employers work toward implementation of the mandated health coverage and reporting requirements.
It is important to note, also, that these actions by the Administration do not affect employee access to available premium tax credits or any other Affordable Care Act provision.
“Treasury Notes”, U.S. Department of The Treasury, www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/pages/continuing-to-improve-the-aca-in-a-careful-thoughtful-manner-aspx
“Health-Law Penalties for Big Employers to Be Delayed in 2014”, The Wall Street Journal, online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324436104578582082787214660.html