On July 2, 2013, the Obama Administration acknowledged employers' concerns regarding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and will delay the previous deadline requiring employers to provide health care coverage to employees or pay penalties. The ACA requires that employers with at least 50 full-time employees provide health benefits to at least 95 percent of their employees or employers will be taxed with a penalty of $2,000 per year for each full time employee (excluding the first 30 employees if one or more full-time employees receives a subsidy to buy coverage on a health insurance exchange). The previous deadline to conform to these new mandates was January 1, 2014.
Now, employers will have until January 1, 2015 to prepare to implement updated health care coverage for employees. In order to facilitate this transition, the United States Treasury Department has announced that it will publish proposed guidelines next week and will then work with employers, insurers and other reporting entities to strongly encourage them to voluntarily implement the proposed rules in anticipation of their full application in 2015.