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Affordable Care Act Employer "Play or Pay" Payment Provisions Delayed Until 2015

July 3, 2013

By Stephanie L. Hicks

In an unexpected move, the government announced a one-year delay of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's ("PPACA") employer shared responsibility payment provisions, commonly referred to as the employer "play or pay" provisions.  The delay was announced on both the White House and Department of Treasury blogs. PPACA generally requires all employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer their full-time employees health insurance coverage or pay significant penalties beginning January 1, 2014.  These employer shared responsibility payment provisions have been delayed until 2015.

According to the blog posts, the delay was driven by the need to simplify the reporting process associated with the employer shared responsibility payment provisions.  Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the Department of Treasury, stated in the Treasury blog post that providing an additional year before the employer shared responsibility payment provisions and related reporting requirements take effect is designed to meet two goals.  "First, it will allow us to consider ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law," said Mazur.  "Second, it will provide time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health coverage affordable and accessible for their employees."

The government anticipates publishing formal guidance describing the one-year delay within the next week.

You can find the announcement on the White House blog at and on the Department of Treasury blog at .

If you have any questions about the employer "play or pay" provisions or about health care reform in general, please contact

Ed Hammond at or (248) 988-1821;

Kristi Gauthier at or (248) 988-5854; or Stephanie Hicks at or (248) 988-5893.

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