Podcast (stream or download) by Steven Friedman and Ilyse Schuman: On Oct. 1, the Affordable Care Act marketplaces open for business. Then, starting in 2015, employers have a choice of whether to “pay or play,”-- to provide health care coverage or pay a penalty. Originally, the employer mandate to pay or play was supposed to go into effect in the beginning of 2014. However, the Obama administration announced July 2 that it was delaying for one year the new mandatory reporting requirements for employers and health insurers—as well as related employer shared-responsibility penalties—under the Affordable Care Act. Steven Friedman and Ilyse Schuman of Littler Mendelson discuss the issues that employers should consider in deciding whether to pay or play in 2014.
While the delay gives employers an additional year to figure out what they are going to do, Friedman and Schuman said not to ignore the ACA in the meantime. But the delay does give employers an opportunity to more thoughtfully consider their options and to be informed by more guidance about what the employer mandate provisions are going to mean for them, they said.
Friedman and Schuman discuss critical items such as factors to evaluate in making the pay or play decision, and the ramifications of restructuring the workforce in order to have employees work less than 30 hours per week.
The bottom line is that the pay or play delay doesn’t mean employers can forget about the ACA, they need to pay closer attention to what they will be doing with benefits and workforce strategy and realize that the ACA is a critical business consideration, Friedman and Schuman say.
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