On July 2, 2013, the Obama administration announced a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that large employers provide affordable health insurance or pay penalties.

Vaughn Holbrook, Government Affairs for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah, summed up the impact of the delay on employers, both nationally and in Utah, in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune last week. "Employers were scrambling to figure out whether they were going to be at the 50-employee threshold or below the threshold, what to do in order to be compliant and what does being compliant mean,” he says. “Hopefully by [2015] there will be a little clearer picture."

Regence remains committed to helping our members and employer group customers navigate the evolving health care reform environment. The administration’s decision to delay implementation of the employer mandate until 2015 is a reflection of the complexities involved with implementing the Affordable Care Act. As we learn more, we will post updates on HealthCareAndReform.com – to help keep everyone informed.

How does this delay impact Regence?

Departments and teams within Regence who work on large and small employer business are assessing the delay’s impacts and identifying actions needed. For example, the mandate requires insurers to report certain information. With the delay, new reporting rules are expected later this summer. Regence’s regulatory implementation team will assess and implement those new rules within our system.

What’s the status of other major ACA provisions?

Currently, other major provisions of the Affordable Care Act are still set to go into effect as planned. This includes the individual mandate that requires most Americans to have health insurance or pay fines. The individual mandate is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2014. The administration also says that the new health insurance exchanges or marketplaces are on target to begin open enrollment on October 1, 2013, as planned.

Where can I learn more about the employer mandate delay?

You can read more here:

White House blog
Treasury Department blog