ACA Responsibility Payments, Mandatory Employer and Insurer Requirements Delayed

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EmpBlog-7.18.2013-ExpectDelaysThose of you just arriving on the planet may have heard a little something about the Affordable Care Act and the fact that it has a lot of folks worried about just how it will all work.  Well, apparently these concerns have been heard, at least to some extent, in Washington.

The Treasury Department recently announced that certain employer and insurer reporting requirements under the ACA would not be implemented until 2015.  Specifically, 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 employers and insurers.  The intent of the delay is to “minimize the reporting, consistent with effective implementation of the law” and provide time for employers and others to adapt.

The big news is that, absent fulfillment of the reporting requirements, it would be impractical to determine responsibility payments (under section 4980H) for 2014.  As a result, these health care reform “pay-or-play” penalties for employers that were set to take effect in 2014 will also be delayed until 2015.

The announcement states that other provisions of the ACA, such as employee access to premium tax credits, will not be affected, and strongly encourages employers to maintain or expand health coverage in 2014.