The U.S. Treasury Department announced today, through a blog posting from Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur, that enforcement of the mandate for employers to provide health insurance coverage to their employees, or pay penalties, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), will be postponed for one year, to an effective date of January 1, 2015.  The ACA requires information reporting (under section 6055) by insurers, self-insuring employers, and other parties that provide health coverage.  It also requires information reporting (under section 6056) by certain employers with respect to the health coverage offered to their full-time employees.

The Treasury Department still will publish proposed rules implementing these provisions this summer. Once these rules have been issued, the Treasury Department will work with employers, insurers, and other reporting entities to strongly encourage them to voluntarily implement this information reporting in 2014, in preparation for the full application of the provisions in 2015.  Real-world testing of reporting systems in 2014 will contribute to a smoother transition to full implementation in 2015.

It is unclear what impact this postponement will have on the establishment of the health insurance exchanges that will become operational on October 1, 2013.

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