Pay or Play? Feds Give Employers One More Year to Play Before You Have to Pay Obamacare Tax…

Think you won’t be able to meet the Affordable Care Act’s “Shared Responsibility” deadline? So do the Feds, who just extended the 2014 deadline to 2015.

From attorneys at Cox Smith:

“On [July 2, 2013], the U.S. Department of Treasury unexpectedly postponed a key portion of the Affordable Care Act: the ‘pay or play’ provisions that require employers of more than 50 full-time employees to provide health coverage to their employees or face stiff penalties. These provisions had been scheduled to take effect January 1, 2014 but have now been pushed back to January 1, 2015.”

For your convenience, here’s a roundup of legal commentary and analysis on the delay:

Obama Administration Delays Until 2015 Large Employer Shared Responsibility Requirements, Reporting And Tax Penalties (Dickinson Wright):

“The Department said that over the past several months, the Administration engaged in dialogue with businesses about the new employer and insurer reporting requirements under ACA. It took into account employer concerns about the complexity of the requirements and their need for more time to implement them effectively.” Read on>>

Affordable Care Act Shared Responsibility Penalty Delayed Until 2015 (Morgan Lewis):

“While the one-year delay in the implementation of the Shared Responsibility requirement is good news for all employers with 50 or more full-time employees, it appears that the rest of the 2013 and 2014 ACA requirements will apply as scheduled, including the 2014 individual mandate, which requires virtually all U.S. citizens to have some basic level of health coverage or pay a tax, and the rollout of Health Insurance Exchanges (Exchanges) across the country.” Read on>>

Treasury Announces Large Employer Play or Pay Penalties Will Be Delayed For One Year (Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.):

“This announcement is welcome relief for large employers who might have been subject to penalties starting in 2014. This will now give employers more time to focus on the other Affordable Care Act changes that take effect in late 2013 and 2014, of which there are many.” Read on>>

PPACA Update: Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate Delayed Until 2015 (McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC):

“PPACA will require information reporting by insurers, self-insuring employers, and other parties that provide health coverage, as well as by certain employers with respect to the health coverage offered to their full-time employees. The delayed implementation of these requirements is intended to allow the Department time to review and (hopefully) simplify the new reporting requirements and to allow additional time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers move towards compliance with the shared responsibility requirements.” Read on>>

Obama Administration Announces Delay Of Pay Or Play Penalties Under Affordable Care Act (Franczek Radelet P.C.):

“Employers that planned on ‘playing’ by offering coverage to substantially all of their full-time employees will have additional time to consider their options. Many employers will choose to continue with their original strategy of covering full-time employees, but will now have additional time to perfect their methodologies for tracking employee hours. This transitional relief may also allow employers to monitor the success of state health care exchanges in 2014, to determine whether simply paying the penalty is a reasonable option.” Read on>>

Obama Administration Postpones Affordable Care Act’s Requirement For Businesses To Cover Employees Until 2015 (Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard):

“The postponement will allow businesses to bring technology up to date, determine coverage costs, and become familiar with compliance issues. The Treasury Department encourages businesses to begin voluntarily reporting next year in order to be better prepared for 2015.” Read on>>

BIG NEWS in Employee Benefits: Obama Administration Delays Employer Mandate Until 2015 (McAfee & Taft):

“So, what does this mean? Many employers have been working hard to identify their full-time employees before 2014 by relying on the complex measurement and stability period rules that the IRS gave us in 2012 and again in January of 2013. For example, some of you are measuring your part-time employees’ hours – right now – to determine which of those employees average at least 30 hours per week. It seems likely that any measurement period that you are using now, in 2013, for purposes of identifying your full-time employees in 2014 is no longer relevant.” Read on>>

ACA “Pay-or-Play” Mandate Delayed (Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC):

“The announcement comes shortly after the General Accounting Office stated that the federal insurance exchanges, another key component of the ACA, may not be ready for their October 1, 2013 target date. The exchanges are being organized to provide insurance coverage options for smaller employers and uninsured Americans.” Read on>>

Affordable Care Act: Implementation of Reporting Requirements and Penalties Delayed One Year (Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP):

“Treasury has indicated that it will encourage voluntary implementation of the reporting requirements in preparation for application of the requirements in 2015, but it remains to be seen how the requirements will be voluntarily implemented.” Read on>>

Healthcare Employer “Play or Pay” Mandate Penalties Delayed to 2015 (Fisher & Phillips LLP):

“[T]he Treasury Department statement provides that formal guidance on the delay in enforcing the employer mandate penalties is expected to be issued sometime in the next week.” Read on>>

Find additional updates on the “Pay or Play” Requirement at JD Supra Law News>>