The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer health insurance mandate will not be enforced until 2015, according to a July 2nd announcement from the U.S. Treasury Department. Prior to the announcement, all businesses with 50 or more employees were required to provide employer health insurance to workers beginning in 2014, or face financial penalties.
“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,” wrote Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy.
The move is intended to accomplish two goals, according to the Treasury Department:
- To allow consideration of ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law; and
- To provide time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health coverage affordable and accessible for their employees.
All ACA-required information reporting will also be delayed until 2015, however, “the Administration will work with employers, insurers, and other reporting entities to strongly encourage them to voluntarily implement this information reporting in 2014, in preparation for the full application of the provisions in 2015. Real-world testing of reporting systems in 2014 will contribute to a smoother transition to full implementation in 2015.”
The Treasury Department expects to publish proposed rules implementing the reporting provisions this summer, after a dialogue with stakeholders in an effort to minimize the reporting, consistent with effective implementation of the law, Mazur wrote.