As discussed on the Blog on December 5, 2014, yet again, the Federal Government announced another delay in a compliance date for small businesses regarding The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Treasury received many requests to offer more time for small businesses to comply with the law and in an effort to work with the small businesses, compromises where made. “While about 96 percent of employers are not subject to the employer responsibility provision, for those employers that are, we will continue to make the compliance process simpler and easier to navigate,” said Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark J. Mazur to Bloomberg.
In addition to postponing the compliance date, an announcement of weakened requirements for complying with the law was made. Small businesses that employ between 50 and 100 full-time workers are now exempt from complying with the mandate until 2016. A full-time worker is defined as an individual who works more than 30 hours per week. If a business claims that it is now eligible for the 2016 delay, the business must certify that it has less than 100 full-time workers and that it did not reduce its workforce merely to qualify for this new extension. Those businesses that are not truthful regarding this statement will suffer the penalties of perjury.
Those businesses that have 100 or more full-time workers must still comply with the mandate by 2015 and if they do not comply with the mandate by 2015 than the businesses could face financial penalties of at least $2,000 per worker and even up to $3,000 per worker. However, The Treasury Department did relax the requirements for those businesses as well. Those companies that have 100 or more full-time workers must make affordable insurance coverage available to only 70 percent, rather than 95 percent of those workers by 2015. Previously, the requirement was that 95 percent of full-time workers be offered affordable health coverage by 2015. Nevertheless, those same business will have to offer affordable insurance to 95 percent of its full time workers by 2016. We will keep you informed of any more changes or delays made to The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.