Wednesday, July 3, 2013

ACA Delay or Treasury Blogs and People Take Notice

It has to be a sign of the times. Yesterday, Mark Mazur, the Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the US Department of Treasury announced delays in implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, ACA, or ObamaCare) through a blog post on the Treasury Department blog.

The stated reason for the delay is that the Treasury Department has been discussing employer and insurer reporting requirements with a number of larger (undefined term) employers who already offer broad-based health care coverage to their employees. Treasury has learned, in what can only be considered a startling revelation if tongue is planted firmly in cheek, that employer and insurer reporting required under ACA is going to be overly complex and place a significant burden on affected businesses.

Now, tell the truth -- if Treasury hadn't blogged about it, would you have known this would create a burden?

So, Treasury has announced that Treasury will be announcing (I can't make this stuff up) the following:

  • There will be a one-year delay (until 2015) until mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin.
  • Treasury will issue proposed rules this summer for information reporting by insurers, self-insured employers and others that provide health insurance.
  • The Administration will work with reporting entities to seek voluntary, but not mandatory, compliance with the not yet effective reporting rules during 2014.
  • Because of this relief, Treasury will not be able to determine which employers owe "shared responsibility" payments for 2014, so these will be delayed until 2015.
  • During 2014, Treasury strongly encourages employers to maintain or expand health care coverage.
Translation: the law is to complex and tangled and the government needs an extra year to figure out what to tell employers they have to do. My readers are smart; they probably knew this was going to happen.

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