CURRENT STATUS OF THE EMPLOYER MANDATE
At this time, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including its employer mandate rules, remains federal law. Proposed legislation to repeal and replace the ACA is currently making its way through the federal legislative process. Both the American Health Care Act (AHCA), released in May, and the recent Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), released on Thursday June 22, propose to reduce the penalties for failing to comply with the ACA’s employer mandate to zero beginning in 2016, effectively repealing the ACA’s employer mandate.
The ACA’s future is still uncertain. Since neither the AHCA or BCRA have been signed into law, the ACA’s employer mandate, and its penalty provisions, remain intact. However, because the employer mandate has been criticized as burdensome for employers and an impediment to business growth, it seems likely that its repeal will be part of any Republican plan to repeal and replace the ACA.