Delay to ACA Employer Reporting Requirement
On Tuesday, July 2, the Obama Administration announced a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements. The one-year delay in the reporting requirement also effectively delays until 2015 the mandate that businesses with more than 50 employees offer coverage to their workers or pay a penalty, as this penalty is assessed based on the reporting requirement.
In a July 2, statement issued by the White House, the Administration announced their intention to simplify the new reporting requirements and provide employers more time to comply with the new rules. The Administration said they would be publishing formal guidance describing the transition, which they say will allow employers the time to test the new reporting systems and make any necessary adaptations to their health benefits while staying the course toward making health coverage more affordable and accessible for their workers.
The Administration announced their plan to re-vamp and simplify the employer and insurer reporting process and to convene employers, insurers, and experts to propose a smarter system and, in the interim, suspend reporting for 2014.
A statement published on the website of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, says that they expect to publish proposed rules implementing the employer reporting provisions this summer, “after a dialogue with stakeholders – including those responsible employers that already provide their full-time work force with coverage far exceeding the minimum employer shared responsibility requirements – in an effort to minimize the reporting, consistent with effective implementation of the law.”
The Administration also states that once the rules have been issued they will strongly encourage employers, insurers, and other reporting entities to voluntarily report in 2014, in order to prepare for the transition to required reporting in 2015.
The Administration makes clear in their statements that this delay in the reporting requirements does not affect the implementation dates of other ACA requirements such as the Health Insurance Marketplaces, which are scheduled to begin open enrollment on October 1, 2013, and coverage starting January 1, 2014.
Neither statement, by the White House or the Department of Treasury, mentions the individual mandate which requires most individuals to have health insurance or potentially pay a penalty for noncompliance.
The implementation and details of many of the ACA requirements remain fluid and open to change.
White House Statement on Delay of Reporting Requirements
Statement from the U.S. Department of the Treasury