ACA’s Employer Mandate Delayed For Some Businesses

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt

On Monday, the Obama administration delayed a significant portion of the employer mandate requirement of the Affordable Care Act.  You may recall that employers with more than 50 employees were supposed to offer qualifying health insurance by 2014 or incur fines.  At the request of the business community, that requirement was pushed back to 2015.  On Monday, the Treasury Department postponed the deadline until 2016 for employers with between 50 and 99 employees.  These employers, however, are still required to report on worker coverage in 2015.  The press release, with links to the final rules, can be found here.

Employers with over 100 employees also get a break under the new rules.  In 2015, these large employers need only to offer qualifying coverage to 70% of their full time employees.  In 2016, that percentage increases to 95%.  Of course, most large employers already offer qualifying insurance.  Employers with less than 50 employees are not required to provide coverage, nor are they subject to reporting requirements.

Finally, the rule clarifies that volunteers are not to be counted as full time employees.  While most businesses have already analyzed the effect the ACA will have on their businesses, this should serve as a wake-up call for those remaining hold-outs which have not reviewed their insurance coverage and ensured compliance with the new law.  The government will begin assessing fines soon.  Be prepared!

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