The Obama administration announced that it would delay enforcement of a requirement for some employers to provide health insurance coverage for full-time employees, giving some companies more time to comply.
Here’s a look at how the delay could impact you or your employer.
What is the employer mandate?
The employer mandate provision in the Affordable Care Act requires companies that employ 50 or more full-time equivalent employees to provide qualifying health insurance coverage to employees who work 30 or more hours per week, or pay fines.
The delay impacts businesses with 50 or more full-time employees. Companies with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent workers are exempt from the insurance requirement.
While approximately 96 percent of all employers have fewer than 50 full-time employees, most Americans work for larger companies. Companies with 50 or more full-time employees who are impacted by the employer mandate employ 72 percent of all Americans.
How will I be impacted?
- If your company has fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees, they are not impacted by the requirement and are not required to offer health insurance to employees.
- If your company has between 50 and 99 full-time equivalent employees, your employer will now have until 2016 to comply with the requirement (the latest announcement is the second time the requirement has been delayed, first to 2015 and now to 2016).
- If your company has more than 100 full-time equivalent employees, your employer has until the insurance plan year beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2015, to offer health insurance coverage to at least 70 percent of full-time workers. The requirement to offer qualifying coverage increases to at least 95 percent of full-time employees in 2016. The employer mandate for this group of employers was delayed from 2014 to 2015, to give larger employers an extra year to get the percentage of full-time employees offered coverage up to 95 percent.
Companies that do not comply with the requirements by those dates will face government tax penalties. The regulations also included more steps some employers will need to take advantage of the employer mandate delay and additional details.
More information about health reform is available on our health reform site at www.ItStartsWithBlueND.com. You can also find out more about health reform law basics and get the latest health reform news on our website.
Ryan Schuster is an editor in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.