On Tuesday, President Barack Obama’s Administration announced its decision to delay the Affordable Care Act mandate requiring employers with 50 or more staff members to extend coverage to all full-time employees until January 2015.
Under the terms of the ACA, workers who clock in at least 30 hours each week are considered full-time. The mandate has stirred controversy among many state and local employers, such as school districts, must decide whether they will offer benefits to bus drivers, substitute teachers and other employees currently considered part-time. Another option many are choosing is limiting the number of hours these staff members can work to fewer than 29 hours weekly.
“The administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin,” read a statement released by the Mark Mazur, assistant secretary for tax policy for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The agency explained the postponement is expected to help the government consider ways to simplify reporting requirements and give employers more time to adapt current benefits administration practices.
Mazur stated that within the next week, the department will release a guidebook to help employers undergo the transition successfully.
Other elements of the ACA, such as the implementation benefits exchanges in each state, are on schedule to occur at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014.