United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Updated Analysis on the Employer Mandate Delay

By Bill Olson, VP, Marketing & Communications at United Benefit Advisors
  Jul 25, 2013 3:24:00 PM

describe the imageOn July 3rd, immediately following the announcement of the employer mandate delay, we published preliminary analysis by Chief Compliance Officer, Linda Rowings on how employers would be affected. Within 24 hours, the New York Times, Employee Benefit News, ThomsonReuters and SHRM all contacted UBA for interviews and comment. In the days that followed the big news, other top industry publications sought UBA and its Partners for reactions, including: Workplace Weekly News and Compliance Week,

In response to this tremendous demand, we have updated our information as the impact of the delay has been analyzed further following the July 9, 2013 IRS Notice 2013-45, which confirms that the employer shared responsibility penalties and reporting requirements will not apply until 2015. The updated summary, “Four Things You Should Know About the Employer Mandate Delay” contains expanded information on:

  • What the Delay Affects;
  • What’s Still Required;
  • What’s Next; and
  • How Reporting Delays Impact Compliance

The latest July 9 Notice states that the delay in the employer shared responsibility will not affect the employee’s ability to receive a premium tax credit/subsidy. However, it is currently unclear how the exchange will know if an employee who is applying for a premium tax credit/subsidy is eligible for employer-provided affordable, minimum value coverage.  The Notice also says that the delay in the employer shared responsibility requirements will not affect the requirement that an individual obtain minimum essential coverage or pay a penalty. While the employee’s obligation to obtain minimum essential coverage remains, in late June the IRS released Notice 2013-42, which provides that if an individual has access to employer-provided coverage and the employer’s plan operates on a non-calendar year, the individual will not be subject to the penalty until the start of the employer’s plan year. Unfortunately, the Notice provides few additional details about how this extension will work.  For instance, it is unclear whether the play or pay requirements will apply to all plans as of Jan. 1, 2015, or if non-calendar year plans that meet certain requirements will be able to delay compliance until the start of their 2015 plan year.

While questions like these remain unanswered and most employers will enjoy the respite from measurement and stability periods, they may want to take this opportunity to think through actions they had planned to make with respect to their plans to manage the play or pay requirements.  Also, many parts of PPACA are unaffected by this delay, and employers will need to meet a number of requirements in 2014 despite this delay.  UBA partners are available to help employers assess the effects of PPACA on their business and make the best choices along the complex Pay or Play continuum.

Topics: UBA, employee benefits, hr consulting, health care reform, health care