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For more than three years, ABC has advocated for the repeal of the complex and costly employer mandate included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On July 2, the Obama Administration finally acknowledged employers’ concerns about implementing the burdensome requirements in a timely and effective manner. In a small step forward, the Treasury Department issued a blog post that announced the following: 

  • Delay until 2015 the employer shared responsibility (or employer mandate) tax penalties. Beginning in 2014, the ACA mandated that employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees offer a certain level of coverage or be subject to new taxes. According to the blog post, the administration is extending transition relief for the employer shared responsibility payments (under section 4980H). These payments will not apply for 2014. Any employer shared responsibility payments will not apply until 2015. 
  • Delay until 2015 the mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements. The administration will provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin.  
      - The ACA includes information reporting (under section 6055) by insurers, self-insuring employers, and other parties that provide health coverage. It also requires information reporting (under section 6056) by certain employers with respect to the health coverage offered to their full-time employees. The administration expects to publish proposed rules implementing these provisions this summer, after a dialogue with stakeholders.
      - Once these rules have been issued, 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. 
  • Formal guidance describing the transition period is expected to be published within the next week (at such time, ABC will provide updated information). 
  • This announcement does not affect employees’ access to the premium tax credits available under the ACA (nor any other provision of the ACA).
ABC members should remember this article is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended, and should not be relied upon, as legal advice. Members should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent legal counsel.