Employer Mandate Under the Affordable Care Act Delayed Until 2015

July 19, 2013

The U.S. Department of the Treasury recently announced that implementation of the employer mandate requirement of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) will be delayed one year, so that it is now effective in 2015.

The employer mandate requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees either to provide a certain minimum level of affordable health coverage to all full-time employees, or pay a fee.  This was originally due to be effective for 2014.

The delay was announced by the assistant secretary for tax policy, Mark J. Mazur, on his blog Treasury Notes.

It appears that this one-year delay is limited to the employer mandate and does not extend to any other portions of the ACA.  Therefore, for example, the individual mandate — which requires individuals to obtain basic health coverage (through a state exchange) or pay a fee — is still required for 2014.

Action Steps

Even with the delay, employers still need to address implementing the other provisions of ACA, as follows:

• The Comparative Effectiveness fee is due on July 31, 2013.

• The Notice of State Exchange must be distributed to employees no later than October 1, 2013.

• Various ACA plan limitations – for example, no preexisting condition exclusions, the 90-day waiting periods, and no annual dollar limits on essential health benefits – must be considered.

• The final wellness plan rules are effective in 2014.

Additional details on these requirements can be found here.