The Treasury Department in conjunction with the Obama administration announced yesterday that implementation of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be delayed until 2015. These provisions include the employer shared-responsibility provisions as well as certain information-reporting requirements for insurers and employers. Mark J. Mazur, assistant secretary for tax policy at the U.S. Treasury, stated on the Treasury Notes blog, “We have heard concerns about the complexity of the [reporting] requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively.”
As a result, an additional year is now being provided before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin. The ACA provides for certain information-reporting requirements by insurers, self-insuring employers and other parties that provide health coverage, as well as requires reporting by certain employers with respect to health coverage offered to their full-time employees. Mazur stated that within the next week, the Treasury will publish formal guidance regarding the transition.
Due to the extension of time of implementation of the reporting requirements, transition relief is also being provided with respect to the employer shared-responsibility, or pay or play, provisions of the ACA that were set to begin Jan. 1, 2014. These provisions require that certain penalties are to be paid by applicable large employers (employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time-equivalent employees) that don’t provide health coverage or provide coverage that is unaffordable or that fails to provide minimum value. As a result of the extension, the employer shared-responsibility payments will not apply until 2015.
Proposed rules implementing the reporting provisions of the ACA are to be published this summer — “in an effort to minimize the reporting, consistent with effective implementation of the law.” Once the guidance has been issued, the administration is encouraging employers, insurers and other reporting entities to voluntarily implement the information reporting in 2014, in preparation for full reporting in 2015.
The availability of premium tax credits for certain employees, the individual shared-responsibility provision and the implementation of the remainder of the ACA will continue as scheduled.
For more information, Mazur’s statement at the Treasury Notes blog can be found here: http://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/Continuing-to-Implement-the-ACA-in-a-Careful-Thoughtful-Manner-.aspx#.UdOSVaEV238.email
The statement from the White House can be found here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/02/we-re-listening-businesses-about-health-care-law