Summary: Do you know about the Employer Mandate Delay? Who are the winners and losers of the employer mandate? What was the reason for the delay? Who isn’t affected positively or negatively?
The employer mandate which was to go into effect as of January 1, 2014 has been delayed for 1 year. The mandate requires employers with greater than 50 employees to provide insurance coverage for their employees or face a penalty initially of $2,000 for each uninsured employee. An employee is defined as working at least 30 hours per week under Healthcare Reform, so these penalties could be quite substantial for larger companies. The delay is an answer to businesses who stated they needed more time to get their ducks in a row and comply with the new complex reporting requirements.
So who stands to gain by postponing the employer mandate?
- Democratic candidates – postponing gives an advantage to Democratic candidates as the mandates are pretty much removed from the table as a hot topic at the same time as a Congressional election year.
- Republicans – by postponing a year, this gives rise to the fact that perhaps Healthcare Reform isn’t the answer and perhaps an attempt will be made to repeal the Act by Republicans.
- Employees – employers had begun gearing up for the mandates by cutting hours for some workers to below 30 to reduce the penalty and laying off others again in attempt to reduce or eliminate penalties depending upon the size of the organization.
- Job hunters – the potential reduction in force as mentioned above under the employees section may provide additional jobs for the next year.
The Employer Mandate Delay
So who stands to lose by postponing the employer mandate?
- Uninsured who are employed by medium or large organizations – the mandate is still in effect for all Americans to be insured. Many
employees were counting on obtaining health coverage through their employer and now may be forced to obtain insurance through the exchanges. The delayed mandate just adds to the confusion surrounding Healthcare Reform and the individual mandate in particular.
Who shouldn’t be affected one way or another with the employer mandate delay?
- The short answer is the majority of the population
- A more detailed answer is – anyone who already has insurance through their employer, anyone who currently has Medicare or Medicaid, anyone working for a company that has less than 50 employees, anyone covered under private insurance.
The mandates/taxes/penalties are a major focal point of Healthcare Reform both from the employer side as well as the individual mandate. The delay of this critical piece will more than likely widen the disconnect which already exists between the 2 major political parties. It seems to be a win for the Democrats in terms of the Congressional election year and a win for the Republicans in terms of poking holes in the validity of Healthcare Reform. The next few months should be interesting to see how this all plays out and whether there will be any delays in either the healthcare exchanges and the individual mandates.
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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