The Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA) said today that it is very encouraged to see the Obama Administration and HHS delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act employer mandate for companies with 50 or more employees from 2014 to 2015.
Jennifer Kluge, CEO of MBPA, states, “this decision comes just in time as our members who fall under the ACA employer penalties have been scrambling to make some tough business decisions that will significantly affect the livelihood of both employers and employees; this extra time to strategize is greatly needed.”
Kluge explained that the reporting called for under the new law about each worker’s access to and enrollment in health insurance often requires new data collection systems and more complicated operations coordination. The administration’s announcement this week provides an opportunity to re- assess the detailed reporting and pave the way for a more streamlined approach while the reporting requirements and penalty payments are suspended for 2014. This move allows employers more time to make any necessary modifications to their health benefits while still moving ahead to comply with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
She pointed out that MBPA has been working diligently to educate its members by offering various types of seminars, webinars, and conferences, solely dedicated to federal healthcare reform since the law’s passage.
“We saw the tremendous need for education on the new health care law, and the need to continually update members as new information comes out weekly that affects the business community,” commented Bonnie Bochniak, MBPA Vice-President, Government Relations.
Bochniak also stressed that this recent announcement does not affect small businesses with less than 50 workers as they are not required to offer healthcare to their employees. These small businesses do however have the option to use the Small Business Health Options Program and marketplace exchanges that are scheduled to be operational by October 1 of this year for enrollment. Regardless of the business mandate delay, the Affordable Care Act still goes into effect for everyone on January 1, 2014.