Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ALERT! Obama Administration Delays Part of the ACA Employer Mandate until 2016

The Obama Administration announced this afternoon that it will delay part of the employer mandate prescribed in the Affordable Care Act for a second year, now exempting companies employing between 50 and 99 full-time workers from complying with the mandate to offer employees affordable health insurance by another year, until 2016.

Companies that have 100 or more full-time workers, defined as employees who work more than 30 hours per week, will have to begin complying with the mandate to offer such coverage in 2015 or face financial penalties of up to $3,000 per worker. Officials Thursday said that the delay in the Obamacare mandate will affect 50 percent of the businesses that were supposed to be complying by 2015. In addition, the IRS is generally extending all of the transition relief for non-calendar year plans that were laid out in the proposed rule.

The Administration noted that transition relief for non-calendar year plans will apply again as proposed (now start of plan year mid-2015); the A Penalty will require employers offer coverage to at least 70% of their employees in 2015 (in 2016, this will be the normal 95% as was proposed); and, for purposes of specifically translating teachers’ hours of service, there will be a ratio of 2.25:1- meaning that every hour the adjunct faculty teaches, they are credited with an addition 1.25.

The Administration had already delayed the employer mandate by one year, until 2015, coinciding with the delay of the SHOP exchanges that now won’t launch until 2015. This marks the latest move to counter a torrent of criticism from the business community about the health law's impact on employers.

The announcement comes on the heels of The Council’s annual Legislative Leadership Summit, where Council members met with Members of Congress last week to voice concerns about protecting stop-loss policies recently attacked by state legislators and regulators, and protecting the employer-provided benefits marketplace.


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