Employers of 50-99 full-time (FT) or full-time equivalent (FTE) workers have been granted a reprieve from the Health Care mandate until 2016.
In 2013, Nextep reported that the employer mandate known as Pay or Play under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had been delayed until 2015. In simplified terms, the mandate requires employers with 50 or more FT or FTE employees to either play by offering affordable health care coverage that meets certain minimum requirements or to pay a fine. This mandate originally had an effective date of January 1, 2014, but was extended to 2015 to give employers additional time to make necessary administrative accommodations.
The Obama administration announced on February 10 that it will further extend the deadline for the employer mandate for companies with 50-99 FT or FTE employees until January 2016. Employers are now additionally barred from cutting hours or laying off workers in order to fall under the employee-count threshold.
While employers of 100 or more employees will still have to comply with the employer mandate in 2015, they have also been granted a concession. Instead of offering coverage to 95% of their employees in 2015, they are now only required to offer coverage to 70% of full-time employees in 2015, then increase the coverage availability to 95% in 2016.
This delay has no effect on Nextep's group medical plan.
Nextep is already compliant with current and upcoming Affordable Care Act requirements and already has mechanisms in place to comply with requirements on behalf of participating clients.
As always, Nextep will watch the situation closely and keep you apprised of the latest news. For questions regarding Health Care Reform, your plan's compliance, or the solution provided by Nextep's plan design, please contact Nextep's Benefits Department.