Another Day, Another ACA Delay…Or Is It?

ACA Delay

The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced yesterday that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Employer Mandate will be delayed once again… but not so fast, these updates only apply to about 4% of U.S. employers.

Before assuming your business can wait yet another year to comply with the ACA Employer Mandate, make sure you have all the facts for which employers will qualify and what it really means to your bottom line. Some of the main highlights of the delay include:

  • Mid-sized employers, those employing 50 -99 employees, now have until January 1, 2016 to provide their full-time employees (and full-time equivalent employees) benefits that meet minimum value and minimum essential coverage as defined by the ACA. Prior to this announcement, any employer with 50+ employees (minus 30) were required to offer qualified coverage to their full-time employees
  • Large employers, those employing 100+ full-time employees must still offer minimum value and minimum essential coverage to all full-time employees starting January 1, 2015. The original legislation stated that beginning in 2015 all large employers must offer qualified coverage to at least 95% of eligible employees; however now they are only required to offer insurance to 70% of qualified employees – this number increases back to 95% in 2016.
  • In order for mid-sized or large employers to take advantage of either of this delay, they must certify in writing on a form to the IRS that they did not shift their workforce or layoff employees to avoid providing coverage.
  • Employers are not allowed to ‘pick and choose’ which employees they offer coverage to, any employee that is full-time or full-time equivalent (working on average 30 hours or more per week) qualifies for benefits.

As mentioned above, this delay applies only to a limited number of employers, mid-sized and large employers make up roughly only 4% U.S. businesses. For those employers that do qualify this mandate provides some relief, however the need to accurately track and maintain an audit trail of offer of coverage and maintaining a consistent workforce (not purposely dropping employees) is critical as the final regulations surrounding the ‘pay or play’ mandate take effect.

For more information regarding the ACA Employer Mandate, please visit:

https://www.federalregister.gov/a/2014-03082.pdf