The White House on the evening of July 2, in a blog posting from Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the President, announced it will suspend for one year reporting requirements in 2014 for larger employers to demonstrate compliance with a mandate to offer employees health insurance coverage, and not enforce financial penalties for larger employers that fail to comply until 2015, one year later than authorized in the Affordable Care Act.

“As we implement this law, we have and will continue to make changes as needed,” Jarrett announced. “In our ongoing discussions with businesses we have heard that you need the time to get this right. We are listening. So in response to your concerns, we are making two changes.  

“First, we are cutting red tape and simplifying the reporting process. We have heard the concern that the reporting called for under the law about each worker’s access to and enrollment in health insurance requires new data collection systems and coordination. So we plan to re-vamp and simplify the reporting process. Some of this detailed reporting may be unnecessary for businesses that more than meet the minimum standards in the law. We will convene employers, insurers, and experts to propose a smarter system and, in the interim, suspend reporting for 2014.

“Second, we are giving businesses more time to comply. As we make these changes, we believe we need to give employers more time to comply with the new rules. Since employer responsibility payments can only be assessed based on this new reporting, payments won’t be collected for 2014. This allows employers the time to test the new reporting systems and make any necessary adaptations to their health benefits while staying the course toward making health coverage more affordable and accessible for their workers.

“Just like our effort to turn the 21 page application for health insurance into a 3 page application, we are working hard to adapt and to be flexible in employer and insurer reporting as we implement the law.”

Jarrett also asserted that the Administration is “full steam ahead” for state health insurance exchanges to open on October 1, 2013. The complete announcement is available here.

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