White House Gives Employers More Time to Comply with Coverage Mandate

Employer concerns about adhering to ACA’s health insurance mandate by the January 2014 deadline have prompted the White House to extend the deadline and change the reporting process, according to a White House blog posted by Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the president for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement.

While plans to open health insurance exchanges on October 1 are still going forward, employers with more than 50 employees working 30 or more hours a week will have an additional year to comply with the rules. The new deadline is January 1, 2015.

The two changes are as follows:

  • Cutting red tape and simplifying the reporting process. In response to concerns that reporting each worker’s access to and enrollment in health insurance requires new data collection systems and coordination, the administration plans to simplify the reporting process, especially since some of the detailed reporting may be unnecessary for businesses that meet the minimum standards in the law. While devising this system, reporting will be suspended for 2014.
  • Giving businesses more time to comply. In response to concerns that employers need more time to comply with the new rules, payments won’t be collected for 2014. This will give employers the time to test the new reporting systems and make any necessary adaptations to their health benefits.

Businesses with more than 50 workers that already offer full-time workers affordable insurance coverage are not affected by the new policies, Jarrett states. Small businesses with less than 50 workers are also not affected by the policies or delay; but they will have access to the Small Business Health Options Program that gives them additional purchasing power, and they may be eligible for a tax credit that covers up to half the cost of insurance if they offer quality coverage to their employees.

Source: White House Blog, June 27, 2013

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