Employers that have 50 to 99 full-time employees or full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) now have a one-year reprieve, until 2016, to comply with the employer “play or pay” mandate. This delay is small, but significant for those affected. It’s part of the 227-page final regulations regarding the employer mandate, which were released by the U.S. Treasury Department on February 10. (You can find the information in section 4980H of the Internal Revenue Code in the “shared responsibility” segment.)
Basics about “Play or Pay”
Under the Affordable Care Act, there is a shared responsibility mandate that imposes a penalty on a “large employer” if it does not offer “minimum essential” health insurance coverage or if one or more of its full-time employees obtains a premium tax credit to help purchase health coverage. The employer mandate applies to for-profit companies, not-for-profit organizations and governmental entities.
If your company falls into the 50 to 99 employee category that was given a reprieve to 2016, the delay may be good news, but your business is still required to take action, as described below.