The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Thursday issued instructions for complying with ObamaCare’s employer mandate.
The mandate, which requires businesses with more than 50 workers to offer insurance or face penalties, was initially slated to take effect in January. But the Obama administration announced in July that it would delay enactment of the contentious rule for a year, in part because of confusion over the reporting requirements.
Still, the IRS is urging insurers and applicable employers to begin following the draft rules next year on a voluntary basis.
“Real-world testing of reporting systems in 2014 will contribute to a smoother transition to full implementation in 2015,” according to a news release issued by the Treasury Department, where the IRS is housed.
The guidance from the IRS is a product of ongoing talks with employers, insurers and taxpayer groups, according to Treasury.
“Today’s proposed rules enable us to continue engaging on how best to implement the [healthcare law’s] reporting requirements in a more streamlined and focused manner,” said Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark J. Mazur. “We will continue to consider ways, consistent with the law, to simplify the new information reporting process and bring about a smooth implementation of those new rules.”
The agency noted that the vast majority of companies with 50 or more workers — roughly 95 percent — already offer healthcare coverage.