July 3, 2013
On July 2, 2013, the Department of Treasury announced that the employer mandate and its associated penalties have been delayed until 2015. The delay, according to the Department of Treasury, allows employers to prepare for the reporting requirements necessitated by federal health reform. In summary, the announcement states that employers with 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees will not be penalized until 2015:
- For failing to offer coverage to 95% of eligible employees
- For failing to provide a health plan to employees that covers at least 60% of services
- For failing to provide a health plan that is affordable for eligible employees (defined as having an employee contribution of less than 9.5% of an employee’s wages)
This announcement allows large employers additional time to determine their full-time equivalent (FTE) calculations and the best coverage for their employees. No additional delays have been announced. At this time, the employer responsibility delay does not affect:
- Rules for small business and individual plans including the essential health benefits, rating requirements and plan design (metal tiers).
- The individual mandate, which requires most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty for failing to do so.
- Taxes and fees on health plans, including the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute fee, which some groups must pay by July 31, 2014 as well as four other taxes/fees effective January 1, 2014