Back in December, we discussed delays in Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation for certain businesses. Those delays got deeper this week when the Administration announced a delay in the so-called employer mandate until 2016 for medium-sized employers.
On Monday, the IRS issued its final regulations for implementing the employer responsibility component of the ACA, which requires that certain employers offer their employees health insurance coverage or face a penalty. According to the rules, employers with 100 or more full-time employees must provide coverage beginning in 2015, while those with 50-99 need not meet the requirement until 2016. Employers with fewer than 50 are exempt from the requirement under the law.
Even for those larger employers that must provide coverage beginning next year, there are some provisions to help ease the transition. For example, coverage must only be provided to 70 percent of full-time employees in 2015 instead of the 95 percent that must be offered beginning in 2016. The IRS has provided a set of FAQs to help businesses understand their responsibilities here.
Like all breaking ACA-related news, the announcement was met with mixed reviews. Many businesses lauded it for providing them with additional time to transition to the new requirements. Republicans pointed to it as another failure and additional fodder for repealing the law altogether, and some Democrats and consumer advocates were disappointed.