Relief on Employer Mandate under Obamacare

July 9, 2013

On July 2, 2013, Taylor English reported that a senior Treasury Department official announced that the Obamacare tax reporting requirements for 2014 would be waived and, consequently, that the requirement that employers provide health coverage for their full-time employees or pay a tax penalty would be waived for 2014. At the end of last week, buried deep in more than 600 pages of guidance on other Obamacare provisions, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) waived for 2014 two requirements for an individual to qualify for a tax credit to help purchase health insurance on an Obamacare insurance exchange. HHS, first, waived the requirement that an individual demonstrate as a condition to a tax credit that he or she did not have access to affordable healthcare coverage from his or her employer and, second, waived the requirement that he or she demonstrate that his or her household income was within the limits required to qualify for a tax credit. Thus, an individual will be able to qualify for a tax credit to purchase health insurance coverage on an Obamacare insurance exchange without demonstrating that he or she meets two key statutory requirements for a tax credit. HHS did not waive the requirement that an individual have health insurance (commonly called the "individual mandate"), but HHS did make purchasing health insurance on an Obamacare insurance exchange to satisfy the individual mandate much easier by waiving these two requirements for a tax credit. Please contact Jan Marsh (678.336.7135) if you would like to discuss this development further.

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