In a Treasury Notes Blog Post on July 2, 2013, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, Mark J. Mazur, announced that enforcement of the employer mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act would be delayed until 2015. The employer mandate – officially known as the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment – applies to “large employers” – those with fifty or more employees – and imposes penalties on those employers who don’t provide affordable insurance (see The Affordable Care Act — What Businesses Need to Know for more information).
Employers and the I.R.S. have been working hard to comply, but the rules are complex and in places require the coordination of information between State healthcare exchanges, insurance companies, the Treasury, employees, and businesses. Large employers failing to comply faced penalties as high as $2,000 on all employees if they failed to provide adequate coverage; employers providing unaffordable coverage faced a potentially-lower penalty of $3,000 on some employees. These penalties, originally slated to go into effect in 2014, are now delayed until 2015.
The individual shared responsibility payment – also known as the individual mandate – was not addressed in Mazur’s statement, and presumably will still go into effect on schedule in 2014. The premium tax credit – a subsidy for certain low-income individuals to offset the cost of insurance premiums – also appears to remain in place.