Obamacare ‘employer mandate’ streamlined by Treasury, but delay stays

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The Treasury Department proposed regulations on Thursday to implement reporting requirements for insurers and larger firms subject to the new health care law’s “employer mandate,” a controversial provision the White House quietly delayed for one year.

Administration officials said they are trying to find ways to streamline or simplify rules tied to the mandate, which requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide adequate health coverage or pay fines.


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About 95 percent of employers in this category already provide coverage, the administration said.

Critics of the law say the mandate is prompting retail and restaurant employers to trim payroll to stay below the threshold or shift workers to part-time status because the mandate defines a full-time work week as 30 hours, not 40.

The White House decided July 2 to delay the mandate by one year, to 2015, citing complaints among the business community about the mandate’s complex reporting requirements.

“We will continue to consider ways, consistent with the law, to simplify the new information reporting process and bring about a smooth implementation of those new rules,” said Mark J. Mazur, assistant secretary for tax policy.

The Treasury requested feedback from stakeholders through November on its proposals, which would require fewer forms from employers or eliminate the need to determine if certain employees are full-time or not.

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