The Treasury Department has announced a delay in the pay-or-play excise tax, stating that “the employer shared responsibility payments … will not apply for 2014. Any employer shared responsibility payments will not apply until 2015.” (The term “employer shared responsibility payments” is the formal name for the pay-or-play excise tax.) It is unclear how reliable this delay is, given that it is buried in the 5th paragraph of a Treasury Notes blog entry entitled “Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner.” We did, however, want to get word of this development to Willis clients as soon as possible. Willis’ National Legal & Research Group is monitoring developments closely and we will follow up with additional information as it becomes available.

Background

Under the health care reform law, large employers – those with 50 or more full-time employees (generally counting part-time employees as fractions) – may incur a penalty tax unless they meet standards for offering health coverage to individuals who are full-time employees. Specifically, no employer will incur the penalty tax if it offers individuals who are its full-time employees and those employees’ dependents “minimum essential coverage” and, with respect to the full-time employees, the coverage is affordable and provides minimum value. The pay-or-play excise tax was set to become effective for 2014.

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