One Year Delay in Enforcement of Affordable Care Act Mandate
The Obama Administration announced on July 2, 2013, that it would delay the implementation of a key provision of the Affordable Care Act–the employer mandate which will require employers with 50 or more workers to provide affordable health coverage to employees or risk tax penalties of up to $2,000 for each full-time employee that did not get health coverage. The employer mandate was originally to take effect on January 1, 2014, but now will not be implemented until January 1, 2015.
The employer mandate has been a big source of anxiety and criticism in the business community as many business owners feel that the provision would be too costly to implement. Additionally, confusion remains on which businesses would be subject to the mandate as definitions of “full-time” employees and what constitutes “affordable” insurance are complicated and subject to interpretation.
The delay in implementation of the employer mandate does not affect the other implementation timelines of the Affordable Care Act, including the opening of the health care exchanges in October 2013 and new tax credits to help individuals buy health insurance.