The primary reason for the delay, at least according to Treasury official Mark Mazur, was to “allow ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law.” It is also supposed to allow “time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health coverage affordable and accessible for their employees.”
Sounds like a bunch of smoke being blown in an undisclosed location if you ask me, but the bottom line is they weren’t ready to enforce the mandate this year.
Should You Be Worried?
The mandate actually affects a pretty small number of employers. “There are 5.7 million firms in the U.S.” according to Wharton’s Mark Duggan, who was the top health economist for the White House’s Council of Economic Adviser from 2009-2010.
Only 210,000 of the 5.7 million have more than 50 employees and only 10,000 or so of the 210,000 don’t offer health insurance. According to Duggan. Which, when it’s all said and done makes up about one percent of ALL American workers.
So there’s a very good chance this will not affect your company if/when they decide to enforce the mandate.
Isn’t This a Law, How Can They Just Hit The Pause Button?
Well, I’m not a lawyer, but from what I can tell the executive branch is responsible for enforcing the law and thus gives them the authority to NOT enforce it. Regardless if that’s true or not, that’s what’s happening. If you are one of those 10,000 companies, you can breath easy and relax knowing you have an additional 12 months.
So They Are Just Looking The Other Way Right Now?
That’s a pretty good way to put it.
Which technically means they could look back at anytime. I doubt that will happen, there just has been no official delay of the law.
There is just one more thing...
Remember, even though the employer mandate is delayed, the individual mandate is alive and well. You won’t have to provide Ohio health coverage for you or your employees next year, but they will have to get it from somewhere or face a penalty if uninsured in 2014.
You might want to make sure they are aware of this new requirement to prevent having a bunch of unhappy workers on your hands after they get hit with a tax penalty. Also, it’s never too early for you or them to learn about your options.
The Bottom Line
If the government holds firm on the new deadline of 2015, your company will have to offer health insurance if you have 50 or more full time employees. Of course, if you don’t want to wait around for the government to change its mind several times before then and understand your options today. We are always available to answer any of your specific questions.
Is your company currently one of 10,000 that isn't offering health insurance? What does this do for your health insurance plans next year?