The recent postponement of the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate will change how companies move forward with compliance and healthcare strategies. Some enterprises planned on offering group health insurance to employees in the coming months to ensure that proper systems were in place before the law was officially enacted on January 1, 2014. The delay will push implementation back until 2015, at which point employers will be expected to adhere to all of the ACA's provisions.
To understand how the postponement will affect your company, read the following analysis the ACA and what steps should be taken in light of the delay.
Capitalize on the time
The timing of the delay was fortuitous for many company leaders, especially small to mid-sized business owners. The announcement was made during the first week of July, meaning that enterprises had a little less than six months to comply with the ACA. In some cases, this time period may not have been sufficient for organizations to fully adhere to the federal mandate.
Small Business Trends reports that the postponement grants companies necessary "breathing room" to understand a complex bill. The ACA features intricate accounting and reporting procedures that may have been problematic for many businesses, which could have hamstrung compliance.
The delay isn't a complete reprieve – it's an additional year that your organization can use to research the ACA and determine what internal components must be updated to avoid potential sanctions. The time should allow you to implement changes within your organization and adhere to the mandate. Another delay is possible, but is far from a certainty so you must capitalize on this opportunity to avoid scrambling at the deadline in 2015.
President Obama's administration delayed the ACA's employer mandates to improve certain features, including reporting requirements. A report on the White House's blog states that government officials will speak with employers, key experts and other stakeholders to shape the future structure of the ACA. The feedback will result in an updated provision that professionals must adhere to when it's enacted in the near future.
Carefully follow announcements regarding the ACA so you know what to expect when it's implemented in 2015. News should be reviewed by HR representatives, benefits managers and attorneys to see how the new policies will affect your company and the health policy needs to be restructured. Staying informed will help your business maintain compliance once the ACA goes into effect.