Employer Mandate Regulations Provide Partial Relief for 2015

Lyndsey Barnett

Yesterday, the Treasury Department issued final regulations under the employer shared responsibility rule (or as we refer to it the pay or play mandate). The regulations delay the pay or play mandate for employers with between 50-99 full-time employees until 2016. The regulations also provide relief from the no coverage penalty for all employers in 2015 by providing that employers only need to offer coverage to 70% of their full-time employees to avoid the $2,000 per employee penalty. In 2016, all employers with 50 or more full-time employees will be required to offer coverage to 95% or more of their full-time employees to avoid the no coverage penalty. The regulations also extend some of the additional transition relief that was in the proposed regulations, including providing partial relief to non-calendar year plans in 2015. 

The 227 pages of regulations provide a lot of information and clarifications beyond just providing transition relief. We will have more in depth postings for you on this as soon as we digest the regulations. If you are curious and want to read them in the meantime, here are the regulations and the fact sheet.