On July 2, the Obama administration announced that the employer mandate, which requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer health insurance coverage to their employees or pay a penalty, will be delayed until 2015. The one-year delay is in response to employer concerns about the complexity of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer and insurer reporting requirements. The administration plans to use this time to help simplify the reporting process. The guidance concerning the details in the process is expected in the coming weeks. The Obama administration maintains that this will not affect access to premium assistance, including tax credits and subsidies, or other provisions of the ACA.
Analysts are divided on the impact that the delay will have on the number of people expected to gain coverage starting in 2014. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the majority of people gaining coverage would be from Medicaid expansion and the individual mandate requirement. Moreover, the CBO projected that the employer mandate was likely to have little effect on employer-based coverage during the first year, considering the majority of employers currently offer coverage and are expected to continue to do so. The individual mandate is still in effect, so employees whose employers do not offer health insurance will now have to buy coverage through the marketplaces.
The repercussions this may have on the bleeding disorders community are unclear. NHF’s public policy team is closely monitoring the situation and will update everyone when further guidance is provided.