On July 2, 2013, a portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been delayed one year, thank goodness. This means that employers with 50 or more employees will not be penalized for either not providing insurance, or not providing affordable insurance and a subsidy-receiving employee purchases insurance on the exchange. According to the Treasury Department, the delay was necessary because it would be impossible to determine which employers owed penalties because the employer reporting rules have not been released.
However, only a piece of the law has been delayed, many “to-do’s” still exist. Here are some examples:
- Employers with under 50 employees must still comply with the ACA by January 1, 2014. This includes preparing for changes in underwriting rules and paying all additional taxes.
- Individuals must have health insurance coverage effective January 1, 2014 or face a fine of $95.00.
- Health insurance exchanges will be up and running on October 1, 2013.
- Individuals can apply for and receive a subsidy to purchase health insurance on the exchanges.
- Wellness plans must be ACA compliant by January 1, 2014. Employers should confirm their wellness plans comply with the ADA and GINA, two areas that historically have not been given proper oversight.
- Employers must comply with current Department of Labor regulations. In a study conducted by Mueller QAAS, less than 10% of employers are in compliance.
- Health care providers and insurance brokers are still required to be transparent on their fees. This will potentially bring high activity to the marketplace.
Further details are expected next week from the Obama administration.
This delay gives employers a chance to be ready for January 1, 2014 while still preparing for the extensive reporting requirements to be released for January 1, 2015. In summary, most employers still have a lot of work to do. Be sure you understand the requirements and impact of your decisions. Mueller QAAS, LLC offers companies independent, objective, experienced, holistic, and unbiased consulting advice so employers can make the best decision for their company.