The White House and Treasury announced on July 2nd that they are delaying enforcement of the ACA’s employer coverage mandate (which requires employers with 50+ full-time equivalent employees to provide affordable, adequate health coverage to substantially all of the employer’s full-time employees and their children) until 2015 to enable a more orderly roll-out of the reporting and disclosure requirements that will form the basis for the imposition of the employer penalties. While speculation as to the reason for the delay is ongoing, employers should view this delay as an opportunity to take a step back, regroup when additional guidance is issued, and shift immediate focus to other deadlines under the ACA and HIPAA, responding to the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, and other benefits developments. Importantly, this announcement does not delay establishment of the exchanges (open enrollment is set to begin 10/1/2013, with coverage commencing 1/1/2014), individuals’ access to related premium assistance, or implementation of the individual coverage mandate (requiring most individuals to maintain health coverage or pay a penalty to the federal government).