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Delayed Again! Affordable Care Act Shared Responsibility Penalties Delayed Until 2016 For Certain Employers
By Kathi Chestnut on February 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM

ACA Delay_Stethoscope_Flag_iStock_000028144508SmallOn February 10, 2014 the Department of the Treasury issued final regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that delay enforcement of the shared responsibility penalties for mid-size employers until 2016. Mid-size employers are employers with 50-99 full-time employees in the preceding calendar year. Full-time employees consist of employees who work 30 or more hours per week. Previously, in 2013, the Treasury Department delayed enforcement of the penalties for all employers from January 1, 2014 until January 1, 2015.

In addition, the new regulations allow some flexibility to large employers, defined as those with more than 100 full-time employees. Large employers will only have to offer minimum affordable coverage to 70% of its full-time employees in 2015, and then to 95% of full-time employees in 2016.

The Obama Administration describes the delayed enforcement as “transition relief” for employers from the requirements of the ACA, originally passed in 2010. Republican Congressional leaders are criticizing the delay, arguing in part that the Obama Administration is engaging in selective enforcement of the ACA by requiring individuals to pay penalties beginning this year, while delaying penalties against employers in a mid-term election year.

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