The Treasury Department has just announced that the employer penalty provisions of Health Care Reform, which were set to go into effect on January 1, 2014, will now be delayed until 2015. The delay applies only to the employer penalty provisions and certain related information reporting requirements. At least for now, the implementation of the Health Insurance Marketplaces (Exchanges) and the requirement that individuals obtain coverage (the Individual Mandate) are still scheduled to go into effect in 2014, along with other scheduled requirements. It also appears that, as of now, employers will still be required to provide Marketplace Notices to employees as of October 1.
The delay will be welcome news for employers that have been struggling with the complexities of the penalty provisions and the lack of guidance on key issues. We are expecting further guidance on how the rest of Health Care Reform will work before the end of summer.