Last week a pivotal moment in the history of Obamacare occurred – the employer mandate was postponed for one year. NSCA has heard from some if its members asking what they should do and what this means to them. Keep reading…
Only if you are a business with 50 or more employees does this ruling even affect you – it bought you more time.
- The fines are pushed back to January 1, 2015, as opposed to January 1, 2014 Note: This only applies if you don’t offer healthcare coverage.
- Easier reporting rules will be established in conjunction with the private sector.
It seems simple, but there are still a lot of questions and confusion. The administration has said they, “need to give businesses more time to comply with the new rules,” according to Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama. Honestly, there is still confusion that exists around this rule. In addition, some of the regulations that affected the January 1, 2014, deadline still have not been published.
Some important parts of Obamacare are still planned to roll-out October 1, and these changes will affect small businesses – those with 50 FTEs or less. It’s still your choice to offer healthcare coverage – options will be offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchanges) or through the Small-Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Come 2016, those businesses with 100 FTEs will be able to participate in the SHOP program as well. Additionally, starting January 1, 2014, the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit will be available for those companies participating in SHOP.
NSCA recommends you speak with your insurance agents or brokers to help you determine (assuming you are at 50 or less employees) what you want to do. Do you currently offer insurance and want to see your options through the exchanges or SHOP? Perhaps it will lower costs? Do you want to be an informative employer and provide employees with their options through the Exchanges? Visiting www.healthcare.gov provides a simple process to evaluate your options.
If you are at 50 or more employees, you have some time to weigh your options before getting hit with fines. There are still many questions to be answered on this delay of the employer mandate, but for the time being, NSCA recommends to keep educating yourself on the issues and concerns. If questions or concerns arise, share them with us at NSCA so we can further work with other business organizations and federal agencies and decision-makers to express your concerns.