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Employer mandate stands for now

Confused about whether as an employer you’re still required to provide minimum essential care health benefits to your employees?

You’re not alone.

With recent changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — including the repeal of the individual mandate penalty for not having coverage (effective 2019) — many people are wondering what rules and regulations still apply.

The answer is that Applicable Large Employers (ALE) still must provide coverage — for now — or face paying a penalty. An ALE is any employer who has more than 50 full-time equivalent employees.

The House Ways and Means Committee proposed and advanced two bills that would make the employer mandate ineffective. If approved:

• H.R. 4616 would suspend penalties for the employer mandate from 2015 through 2019 and postpone implementation of the tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans (the so-called Cadillac tax) until 2022.

• H.R. 6314 would allow ACA tax credits for plans in the individual market outside of the exchanges. It also would allow anyone to purchase a catastrophic plan — plans that are cheaper but cover fewer services that currently are only available for those under the age of 30.

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