Earlier this week, the Obama administration announced a delay for one year of the “Employer Mandate”. The Employer Mandate required businesses with 50 or more full time employees to cover all full time employees ( those working>30rs/week) with health insurance. The one year delay is said to be due to the complexity in the reporting and calculations by employers to determine fulltime and coverage. Employers faced fines and penalties if they did not comply.
The delay in employer mandated coverage did not come along with a corresponding delay in the “individual mandate” that mandate says that all individuals must have health insurance coverage or face a penalty in the form of additional taxes. The tax penalty on individuals will phase in over time and is minimal in 2014 so even if employers don’t cover employees, it is unlikely that the threat of individual mandate penalties will force those not covered to buy coverage.
This delay is not without controversy. It was expected that the employer mandate would make the biggest leaps in getting those without insurance covered. There is a fear that even more employers will drop coverage on their employees in 2014. Meanwhile many retail establishments (restaurants in particular) have been cutting employee hours to keep a minimum number of employees in the pool they would have to cover.
Most gins will not fall into the employer mandate anyway. There are methods for calculating seasonal workers that would mean those employees would be in the employer mandate. EVERY BUSINESS WILL BE DIFFERENT. Please consult with your health care provider and/or your tax professional for your particular situation.
I’m sure this won’t be the end of it so stay tuned.