Obama Administration Delays Health Insurance Mandate for Large Employers Until 2015

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The Obama Administration announced on July 2 that it was delaying until 2015 implementation of the requirement that employers with 50 or more employees provide qualified health insurance for their employees, or pay a penalty. The announcement, which came from the Treasury Department, noted that the Administration had “heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively. ”

The Treasury statement noted specifically that the administration expects to issue proposed regulations this summer that (1) would implement sec. 6055 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (P.L. 111-148), regarding information reporting by insurers, self-insuring employers, and other parties that provide health coverage; and (2) would implement sec. 6056 of PPACA, which requires information reporting by certain employers with respect to the health coverage offered to their full-time employees.  After these rules are finalized, the Administration hopes that most large employers will voluntarily report this information in 2014, before the reporting requirements are fully implemented in 2015.

Since the mandate is being delayed, the shared responsibility payments (the penalties for not providing coverage in 2014) will not apply until 2015.