The Treasury Department announced on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, that reporting requirements and penalties imposed on large employers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be delayed one year, until January 1, 2015. The ACA requires that large employers, defined as those with 50 or more full-time employees, offer affordable health insurance coverage to their employees beginning January 1, 2014. If a large employer fails to offer coverage, it is subject to shared responsibility payments that may reach up to $3,000 per year per employee. To ensure compliance, the ACA also subjects such large employers to reporting requirements. Large employers will be required to submit a variety of information to the Internal Revenue Service, including the number of employees enrolled, the months coverage was offered, the monthly premium for the lowest cost option, and identifying information for those employees covered, among other items. Cost sharing payments will be based on the information in these submissions.

Due to the volume of information that will be required in such submissions, the Treasury Department has decided to issue a proposed rule later this summer on the implementation of the reporting requirements. Because the method of reporting may not be clear by January 1, 2014, the Treasury Department has established an effective date of January 1, 2015 for the reporting requirements and cost sharing payments. The Treasury Department’s announcement may be read here. The announcement comes just weeks after the Government Accountability Office reported that CMS faces significant challenges in ensuring the exchanges mandated under the ACA will be operational by October 1, 2013, as the law requires.