FOCUS OF THE WEEK
Employers See Another Delay with ACA
February 11, 2014, 11:11:35 AM
Katie Sullivan
Select employers will have until January 1, 2016, to comply with a health insurance mandate under the Affordable Care Act(ACA). Originally, employers with 50 to 99 workers would have faced a penalty if they did not offer health insurance to their employees in 2014. This is the second 1-year extension for these employers. Companies with 100 or more employees have also received a 1 year extension, until January 1, 2015. In 2015, they will only have to offer insurance to at least 70% of their employees as opposed to the 95% that the law initially required. The tax penalties within the law are intended to offset the costs of the federal subsidies that are given to low-income individuals.

“Today’s final regulations phase in the standards to ensure that larger employers either offer quality affordable coverage or make an employer responsibility payment starting in 2015,” said Mark J. Mazur, the assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy.

The news has some worried, especially following the rollout troubles of the Heathcare.gov website. The delay is only 1 of many that have been put into place since the ACA was signed into law in 2010.

“The White House seems to have a new exemption from its failed law for a different group each month,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “It’s time to extend that exemption to families and individuals—not just businesses.”  

House Speaker John Boehner echoed McConnell’s comments saying, “If the administration doesn’t believe employers can manage the burden of the law, how can struggling families be expected to?”

The administration is still determining how to quantify certain workers’ eligibility for coverage, including part-time and seasonal workers. Overall, only 2% of employers have 51 to 100 employees, while 2% have more than 100 employees. Companies with more than 100 employees employ 66% of U.S. workers; those with 51 to 100 employ 7% of workers.

Around the Web

White House Delays Health Insurance Mandate for Medium-Sized Employers Until 2016 [The Washington Post]

Further Delays for Employers in Health Law [The NY Times]

US to Further Delay Obamacare Employer Mandate [The Los Angeles Times]