Enforcement of the Affordable Care Act's "Pay-or-Play" mandate is being delayed one year, to 2015, according to the United States Treasury Department. The mandate requires businesses to provide health insurance to all employees or face yearly penalties of up to $3,000 per employee.

The Treasury made the announcement July 2, citing business owners' concerns about the law's reporting requirements as the reason for the delay. The announcement comes shortly after the General Accounting Office stated that the federal insurance exchanges, another key component of the ACA, may not be ready for their October 1, 2013 target date. The exchanges are being organized to provide insurance coverage options for smaller employers and uninsured Americans.

This announcement does not alter any other deadlines under the ACA. Individuals will still need to purchase health insurance by January 1, 2014, or they will face a penalty. Employers will still need to provide information to their employees about the health insurance exchanges by October 1, 2013. The consumer provisions of the ACA (for instance, the elimination of prior existing condition exclusion) are still the law. Additionally, the delay is only a one-year reprieve for employers; penalties are now slated to begin 2015.

The Obama Administration is promising new regulations next week. To help employers stay on top of their evolving obligations under the ACA, Spilman is presenting a pair of full-day seminars along with Commercial Insurance Services of West Virginia. These practical seminars are scheduled for August 14th (in Morgantown, W.Va.) and August 15th (in Charleston, W.Va.), and we invite you to attend as our guest.

Bloomberg news has the latest on this developing story, including reactions from across the nation.