Employer Mandate to Provide Health Care Postponed Until 2015

Health care reform has been a key initiative of President Obama's administration.

Employers that were worried about how they would be able to handle the implementation of health care reform starting in January have one less thing to worry about — at least for next year.

The White House has decided to postpone the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate for employers in 2014. Politico says the decision represents “a major concession to the business community and lawmakers who have become increasingly vocal about the law’s potential to damage a slowly recovering economy.”

The announcement of the postponement of the employer mandate came via a blog post on the Treasury Department’s website.

Health care law too complex to go in 2014

“We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively,” Mark Mazur, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, wrote in a late Tuesday blog post that was also published by The Washington Post. “We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so.”

Politico added:

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“The delay, revealed just as the administration was stepping up efforts to educate the public about enrollment this fall, is at least partial proof of what Republicans have been predicting for months: that the health law is way too complex to be ready to go live in 2014…

The Treasury Department, which is in charge of the employer mandate, said it recognized that the steps businesses have to take to show they were complying with the rules were complex and a burden on business. Treasury said it would try to streamline them over the next year.

There will be no penalties the first year on businesses that don’t cover workers. Small businesses, with fewer than 50 workers, were already exempt from that rule. Most large businesses do cover their workers.”

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.

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