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ACA: Employer Mandate Delayed … What Now?

As you likely are aware, Employer Mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been delayed for one year. When it’s implemented in 2015, the Employer Mandate will require most employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer ACA-compliant health insurance coverage to those employees, and to their eligible dependents. If the employers do not do so, they will be subject to a tax payment called the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment (ESRP). When the administration announced the delay earlier this month, it provided two main reasons for this delay:

  • First, it allows the administration to consider ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law.
  • Second, the delay provides time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health coverage affordable and accessible for their employees.

We appreciate the administration is being responsive to the concerns that employers have raised about the workability of their reporting requirements related to the coverage they offer their employees and their dependents.

At this time, we understand that only the Employer Mandate has been delayed. Other provisions – for instance, the Individual Mandate – which requires most U.S. citizens and legal residents to either have qualified ACA health coverage or pay a penalty – both the SHOP and IEX exchanges, the Essential Health Benefits packages, guaranteed availability of coverage, limitations on cost-sharing and others – are not currently affected by the Employer Mandate delay, and they remain on target for implementation on Jan. 1, 2014.

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