Update—July 3, 2013: Employer Coverage Mandate Delayed Until 2015

The Treasury Department announced yesterday that the employer coverage provision, also known as the Pay-or-Play rules, has been delayed until 2015. Considered a key component of health care reform, the Pay-or-Play rules contain steep monetary penalties and complicated reporting requirements that place administrative and financial burdens on U.S. employers. Under this provision, companies with at least 50 full-time employees are required to provide qualified health insurance coverage to employees or face financial penalties. This delay stems from businesses raising concerns with the Obama Administration about whether there would be enough time and infrastructure for employers to comply with these rules. It appears the Administration has acknowledged these concerns by announcing the one-year delay.

Although the employer mandate has been delayed, the announcement by the Treasury Department did not delay the following ACA provisions:

• The individual mandate to purchase health insurance
• The employer Notice of Exchange
• PCORI Fees
• Transitional Reinsurance Fees
• W-2 reporting obligations
• Other 2014 insurance reforms (i.e., the 90-day limitation on waiting periods and the prohibition on preexisting condition exclusions)

Regulatory guidance will be issued next week. The guidance is expected to simplify the reporting obligations, as well as provide employers with additional time to adjust their administrative processes to meet the law's requirements. HealthSmart will provide additional details after regulatory guidance is issued on this topic.