As posted here yesterday and explained in our client alert, President Obama announced that the employer mandate, the “Play or Pay” requirement, has been postponed until 2015. While many employers breathed a sigh of relief, employers should not stop their preparations for PPACA. The announcement stated that the state exchanges will go forward as planned as well as other PPACA requirements. Employers will still have responsibilities under PPACA.
With the postponement of the employer mandate, employers will now have time to carefully look at the design of their group health plans, and will also be able to focus on what changes will be needed since the federal Defense of Marriage Act(DOMA) was overturned. We are waiting on guidance from the IRS and DOL about how to implement the required changes to employer plans. However, we know there will likely be changes in eligibility and taxation for many employee benefits, including group health plans, cafeteria plans, the Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as changes to retirement plans.