The Obama Administration is postponing a major Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision, the employer mandate, according to an announcement made Tuesday via the U.S. Department of the Treasury website.
The employer mandate is the requirement that employers with more than 50 workers offer insurance coverage by January 1, 2014 or face penalties. The new deadline for providing such coverage is now January 1, 2015.
According to the bulletin posted July 2, the ACA’s employer mandate will be delayed for one year in order to meet two goals: Firstly, to consider ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law; and secondly, to allow time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward more affordable, accessible health coverage for their employees. The department states it will publish formal guidance within the next week, with expressed efforts to adapt and to be flexible about reporting requirements as the law is implemented.
“Over the past several months, the Administration has been engaging in a dialogue with businesses — many of which already provide health coverage for their workers — about the new employer and insurer reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act,” per the bulletin. “We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively. We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so. We have listened to your feedback. And we are taking action.”