ACA Employer Mandate Provisions Delayed

July 2013

Enforcement of a major Affordable Care Act requirement that all employers with more than 50 employees provide coverage to their workers has been delayed until 2015. The administration said it would postpone the provision after hearing significant concerns from employers about the challenges of implementing it as well as the complexity of the rules involved. The additional time is meant to afford the White House Administration opportunity to simplify reporting rules as well as allow employers the opportunity to modify their health coverage and reporting mechanisms to comply with the rules.

The delay means that employers will not be subject to any penalties for failing to provide affordable, minimum value coverage to their full-timers for 2014. It's important to note that this delay only applies to the employer mandate piece of the ACA. What still remains in effect for 2014, without delay, are the remaining ACA changes scheduled including the individual mandate, the required employer-provided notice regarding the availability of exchange coverage, the 90-day waiting period rules, the prohibition on pre-existing condition limitations for all individuals, the out-of-pocket and cost-sharing limitations, and the prohibition of any annual and lifetime benefits limits.

While this delay provided employers some initial relief, some employers should also see this as a new opportunity to do further compliance planning regarding the rules.

There was also indication given that formal guidance regarding the delayed employer mandate implementation date would be issued soon. Stay tuned.

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