Yesterday, The Treasury Department announced that the employer mandate that required shared responsibility payments has been delayed until 2015. Originally scheduled to begin next year, the Department also announced that the employer reporting requirements, that would have applied to the coverage provided to their employees, has also been pushed back a year.
The official Treasury press release described the action as a result of “continuing to implement the Affordable Care Act in a careful, thoughtful manner.” Others were not so generous in their assessment. Many observers, including WBC (wbcbaltimore.com), have been warning about the pending disaster with respect to implementation on many aspects of the ACA. It seems to us that this delay is hugely political in attempting to free the Administration from the public outcry associated with Obamacare until after next year’s mid-term elections. Word has it that many Democratic operatives have been lobbying the White House for some type of constraint or delay in implementation of the Act in their attempt to win back the House. The last thing they wanted is a negative barrage of stories from consumers, business owners, insurance companies and unions as to how the ACA has had a negative impact on their lives.
Currently, the employer notices that must be distributed to plan participants who are covered under the employer or multiemployer healthcare plans are still scheduled to be released by October 1st, 2013. A reprieve on these notices in any forthcoming Department guidance will be further evidence that the powers-that-be want to disassociate themselves of this albatross until next year’s elections are complete.
Stay tuned, much more to come!