Summary: Did you know that the employer mandate has been postponed? The decision has been made to postpone the penalties assessed to large and medium sized companies who don’t offer insurance to their employees. The mandate which was to be effective in 2014 has been postponed to 2015.
2014 will be a monumental year for healthcare. Healthcare will change as we know it. The major changes include the creation of healthcare exchanges as well as assessing penalties (taxes) to both employers (with more than 50 employees) who don’t provide insurance and individuals who are uninsured.
The health insurance exchanges will be marketplaces, so to speak, setup to provide one place to purchase individual insurance. States have the opportunity to setup state-run exchanges or default to a federal exchange. It is important for individuals who will be forced to purchase insurance through the exchanges (those that don’t have insurance through their employer) to begin learning about these marketplaces and what options will be available for their individual state.
Employer Insurance Mandate Postponed
The employer mandate, set to go into effect in 2014, has been postponed for large and medium sized companies for one year. The employer mandate had already been postponed to 2015 for small business owners (those with less than 50 employees). The mandate basically requires employers to provide coverage for their employees or face a penalty of $2,000 for each uninsured full time employee. The reason cited for the delay is the complexity in reporting requirements, especially for those companies that already provide insurance coverage.
Under the ACA, a full time employee is one who works at least 30 hours per week. Companies are already making efforts to reduce the penalties assessed by scheduling employees to work less than 30 hours per week as well as laying off others. Wouldn’t it be easier to just provide insurance in the first place? These anti-ACA efforts will negatively impact unemployment rates in a time when unemployment is reaching record rates. These efforts may be reversed for now but will become an issue in 2015 when the mandates do go into effect.
As of now, there have been no decisions made to postpone the implementation of the healthcare exchanges nor have there been any decisions to postpone the penalties charged to individuals who don’t have insurance. Could the decision to postpone the employer mandate be a foreshadowing of things to come? Only time will tell.
About BHM Healthcare Solutions – www.bhmpc.com
BHM is a healthcare management consulting firm whose specialty is optimizing profitability while improving care in a variety of health care settings. BHM has worked both nationally and internationally with managed care organizations, providers, hospitals, and insurers. In addition to this BHM offers a wide breadth of services ranging including managed care consulting, strategic planning and organizational analysis, accreditation consulting, healthcare financial analysis, physician advisor/peer review, and organizational development.
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