The federal government has delayed till 2015 the employer mandate component of the healthcare reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The mandate requires businesses with more than 50 employees to offer insurance to all full-time workers or face a sizable fine. In a statement announcing the extension, the White House says the move is to allow businesses more time to implement the new rules.
The move comes following criticism over the regulations’ complexity. In a post on the Treasury Notes blog, Mark Mazur, assistant secretary for tax policy at the Department of the Treasury, says: “We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively. We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so.”
The extension, Mazur says, will give the federal government an opportunity to develop simplified reporting requirements under the law, and provide time for health coverage and reporting systems to adapt while employers are making the move toward compliance.