Key Provisions of Affordable Care Act Delayed A Year

Key Provisions of Affordable Care Act Delayed A Year

, one of the nation’s largest, independent insurance brokerages, today said the Obama Administration’s delay in implementing the Employer Mandate and reporting requirements in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is an opportunity for U.S. businesses to prepare for the most significant changes to employee benefits since the enactment of Medicare.

“Businesses across the country welcome the extra time to address the new rules, associated expenses and operational challenges,” said , head of Barney & Barney’s Employee Benefits Division. “However, employers should use this reprieve to accelerate their efforts to develop a strategy. The ACA will have a material financial impact on most companies and create unforeseen operational challenges.”

Pynes said the decision to postpone the employer mandate until 2015 means that businesses that do not offer healthcare benefits to employees will not be subject to the penalty provisions under the ACA until then. The Obama Administration also postponed implementation of the employer reporting requirements until 2015.

The U.S. Department of Treasury decided to hold off to allow regulators to streamline the rules that businesses would be required to follow under the landmark legislation. More than 70,000 pages of rules have already been written to implement the legislation, and Barney & Barney estimates costs will still double by 2020 in spite of the delayed ACA mandates.

“Many employers will want to continue preparing now for 2015 and should consider working with us to assess the problem and identify a plan that’s right for them,” Pynes said. “ from Barney & Barney, delivers recommendations and tactics to address the law’s impact on a company’s finances, operations and human capital. ATLAS combines technology and the experience of Barney & Barney’s legal, actuarial and employee benefits team to navigate the challenges ahead.”

Pynes noted that for the majority of large employers, the delay will have no impact. Most large firms currently offer coverage to their employees. Small businesses with fewer than 50 workers were already exempt from the rules and will also see no changes.

The Treasury Department’s announcement pertains only to the employer mandate and the employer reporting requirements under the ACA. The decision does not delay the individual mandate, which requires Americans currently without health insurance to obtain coverage effective January 1, 2014. Individuals will need to purchase insurance independently, through new marketplaces beginning in October, or with the help of a licensed insurance broker.

“Businesses across America got a temporary break from the Obama’s Administration’s smart decision to postpone implementation of the ACA for a year,” Pynes said. “As soon as the employer mandate takes affect, however, healthcare costs will jump significantly. Now is the time for businesses to expedite their planning to mitigate the impact of the ACA.”

Founded over 100 years ago, Barney & Barney LLC is a risk management and insurance brokerage providing solutions, services and products in commercial property and casualty insurance, employee benefits, workers’ compensation, compensation consulting, executive liability, personal lines and surety. An independent, partner-owned firm, Barney & Barney also offers value-added services in alternative risk financing, business continuity and loss control. Barney & Barney is headquartered in San Diego, with offices in San Francisco and Orange County. For more information, visit , or call 800-321-4696