Earlier this week, the IRS released its final rule on the employer mandate. Among provisions regarding employee transition periods and how to classify employees for counting purposes was a new extension of the employer mandate.
After a previous extension moved the start date to January 1, 2015, the mandate is now postponed until 2016 for employers with 50-99 full-time employees. In addition, while large companies with more than 100 employees are still subject to the mandate in 2015, they only have to offer coverage to 70 percent of their full-time workforce for the first year the mandate is in effect.
The Obama administration explained the extension as an effort to give affected companies additional time to come into compliance with the mandate. Two percent of U.S. companies are classified as mid-size and two percent are large, but those companies employ as much as 70 percent of the total labor force in the United States.
Criticism of the announcement centers on frustration that the individual mandate, seen by many to be more of a burden than the employer mandate, went into effect on its originally schedule date of January 1, 2014. Consumers still have six weeks, until March 31, to enroll in a qualifying healthcare plan. The delay of the employer mandate could push a number of those consumers to the online marketplaces if they are unable to obtain a policy through their employer.
The staffing industry is also frustrated with other provisions of the IRS final rule, which limit staffing agencies’ ability to classify their employees as variable-hour or to take advantage of look-back periods to determine their status for insurance purposes. This could potentially raise healthcare costs for these agencies if they are required to provide coverage to employees who are later determined to be variable-hour or part-time.
If you have a nurse staffing agency or work in the medical field and are worried about rising healthcare costs, PRN Funding’s healthcare factoring program can help you turn your receivables into immediate cash. Learn more about healthcare factoring and contact us to get started today.