Obamacare Alert: Implementation of Employer Mandate Delayed by Obama Administration

obamacare alertDELAY: The requirement for employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees to provide health insurance has been delayed from Jan 1, 2014 to 2015 (see White House blog here).

  • The law requires companies with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees to offer health benefits or pay penalties. This delay means the penalties will not apply until 2015.
  • Employers can still comply with the requirements before 2015. Many companies are already compliant or have taken steps to become compliant.
  • Treasury Department to issue updated regulations (see Treasury Dept blog here).

REASONS:

  • Medium and large sized businesses need more time to comply with complex rules and reporting requirements
    • Forbes estimates that “Half of Employers Aren’t Ready for Rollout.”
    • Political observers report that the delay could be intended to provide political cover for Democratic congressional candidates and incumbent members of congress ahead of 2014 mid-term elections.

ITEMS REMAINING UNCHANGED:

  • Individual policies will still be available through subsidized exchanges.
  • The “Individual mandate” is still in effect – individuals without coverage could face tax penalties when filing their 1040.

IMPACT TO YOU:

  • Businesses with more than 50 full time equivalent employees have an additional year to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s “Employer Mandate”
    • Employers should contact their health plan administrators to ensure existing plans comply with requirements.
    • Since companies with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees are not subject to penalties, the delay in implementation of penalties has no effect on them
      • Such companies are currently not subject to the “Employer Mandate.”

For more information or specific questions, please contact a KatzAbosch tax advisor at 410-828-CPAS (2727) or email jeaton@katzabosch.com.

Submitted by James Eaton, CPA, MBA and KatzAbosch’s Tax Department Chair, Michael J. Agetstein, CPA, PFS

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