Understanding the delay in ACA employer mandate

07/08/13 at 06:01 AM | Published Under Job Openings by Lon Matejczyk

You’ve no doubt heard about the one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act employer mandate. I thought it might be useful to share the answers to a few questions we’ve been hearing from our customers since the big news.

Who benefits?

Business owners, for sure. Obama administration officials say they listened to businesses that complained they needed to figure out how to comply with complicated new rules written since the plan became law. And the delay buys time for the government, as well, to improve and simplify the rules.

The ACA required employers with more than 50 employees working 30 or more hours a week to offer them suitable health coverage or pay a fine. What's changed is the deadline for that requirement, which was to begin in January. The new deadline is Jan. 1, 2015. One very important thing to remember: The delay does not absolve an employee's responsibility to get health insurance.

Who else benefits from the delay?

  • Some low-income workers. When the employer mandate does take effect, some smallish companies have threatened to lay off workers or cut back their hours to stay under the 50-employee threshold. There's debate about how many workers might be harmed by this.
  • Some job hunters. Once the mandate kicks in, job-seekers may find fewer openings for unskilled workers. That's because some restaurants and other small companies say the mandate will force them to cut back on staff or freeze hiring. The economy is likely to continue improving, which will help offset the impact by increasing demand for workers.

Who loses?

  • Uninsured people who already are confused about the law. The law doesn't change the January 2014 deadline for individuals to get insurance or the tax credits in the law to help them pay for it. But many people don't understand how the law works or when it takes effect, and the delay for the employer mandate may further muddle the issue for many.
  • Some workers. Those whose employers might add insurance coverage to avoid the law's penalties will have to wait a year. But this group is expected to be small. The penalties are designed more to discourage businesses from dropping their existing health plans than to encourage them to start new ones. And these employees can buy their own insurance through the new health care exchanges being set up under the law.

About the Author

Lon-matejczyk Lon Matejczyk

Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group.  Lon was given the "Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play" award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1's business citizen of the year.

staffing service industry blog

News and Latest Events 
 
Economist pegs 2017 construction growth at 5 percent

The 2017 Dodge Construction Outlook sees total U.S. construction starts for 2017 advancing 5 percent to $713 billion, following increases of 11 percent in 2015 and an estimated 1 percent this year. Read more arrow

Robust jobs report eases worry over economic growth

The U.S. labor market in July capped off the best two-month stretch of hiring so far this year, a sign of strength for an economy that has been showing mixed growth signals in recent months. Read more arrow

U.S. growth and employment data tell different stories

Measured by traditional yardsticks for growth, like gross domestic product, the American economy definitely looks weak. View it through the prism of hiring and employment, however, and the economy seems surprisingly strong. Read more arrow

Labor Department clarifies employment guidelines 

The Labor Department has waded deeper into the contentious issue of joint employment, seeking to clarify who is accountable for violations of employment laws when two different entities, like a manufacturer and a staffing agency, both have ties to the same worker. Read more arrow

 
Prepare for the great moderation in U.S. job growth

An increasing number of Wall Street economists and those inside the Federal Reserve are concluding that job growth is bound to shift into a lower gear as the aging population drags on the amount of available labor. Read more arrow


Weakness and strength: 7 snapshots of the U.S. job market

Employers added a meager 142,000 jobs in September, the government said Friday. And the average job gain for each of the past three months — 167,000 — is well below the 231,000 average for the previous three. Read more arrow

Housing, construction may be able to improve U.S. jobs picture 

Even though Friday’s lackluster U.S. jobs report proved a disappointment, the growth in construction and housing jobs might be able to pull the U.S. economy through this rough patch. Read more arrow

Kansas employment stats create muddled picture

The data on employment in Topeka, Wichita and Kansas are behaving in puzzling ways, making it unclear whether their employment pictures are getting better or worse, according to an economist at Wichita State University. Read more arrow

NLRB will let more workers bargain with their employer’s employer

The decision could have widespread implications for subcontracting, franchising, and temporary staffing agencies that have become increasingly prevalent in today's "fissured" economy. Read more arrow 

 
Should Americans work more? 

While the average American workweek is already longer than in most high-income countries, the Irish and the South Koreans show it’s possible for an advanced country’s workers to put in more hours than we do. Read more arrow 

Labor Department expected to make millions more eligible for OT

Millions of Americans who work in excess of 40 hours a week will qualify for overtime pay under a proposed Labor Department rule. Read more arrow

 
Nailed it: Construction employment helps fuel economy

April was the best month for construction employment since January 2014, U.S. Labor Department figures showed — and not just for job creation. Unemployment among construction workers fell to its lowest level since 2006. Read more arrow

Despite hiring efforts, veterans face employment obstacles and civilian disconnect

A new report says that vets have trouble finding and keeping jobs and that civilian employers struggle to understand them. Read more arrow

 
Apartment construction a booming business nationwide

According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, apartment vacancies nationwide hit their lowest point in two decades in the last quarter of 2014: 4.8 percent. The low vacancy rate has led to sky high rents and an explosion of apartment construction that so far cannot keep pace with demand. Read more arrow


Trade plan hopes to grow Wichita exports by more than $1 billion

The Wichita-South Central Kansas Regional Export Plan aims to raise Wichita area exports by $1.1 billion over five years. Such a boost in sales would translate into roughly 6,000 more jobs, according to federal estimates. Read more arrow

The worst mistakes job seekers are still making

In today’s job market, applicants have enough challenges without worrying they’ve made a wrong move bad enough to cost them the position. There are all kinds of theories out there about which blunders are the absolute worst. Read more arrow

Companies face new rules on labor practices

President Obama will sign an executive order that could make it harder for companies that violate wage, labor and anti-discrimination laws to win federal contracts. Read more arrow