The White House has announced that it is extending the deadline for businesses with more than 50 employers to provide health care coverage from 2014 to 2015 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“(We) believe we need to give employers more time to comply with the new rules,” read an update on the White House’s website. “Since employer responsibility payments can only be assessed based on this new reporting, payments won’t be collected for 2014.”
The extension to 2015 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,” according to the White House statement released Tuesday.
Prior to the extension, businesses with more than 50 workers that did not provide health care coverage faced paying fines of $2,000 per employee starting next year.
On Oct. 1, the federal government will open up marketplaces, commonly referred to as exchanges, to offer subsidies to the estimated 50 million uninsured Americans who can also start signing up for state-run health insurance programs.
Meanwhile, credit unions are gearing up to offering insurance choices to their employees and members.
In June, the Iowa and Nebraska Credit Union Leagues announced a partnership with Des Moines, Iowa-based CoOportunity Health, a co-op that plans to offer insurance options through broker Group Benefits Ltd., in Urbandale, Iowa.
Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan is also planning to offer health insurance to low- and moderate-income residents and small businesses in need of low cost insurance options.
The East Lansing, Mich.-based firm said it received $72 million in a federal loan as part of the Affordable Care Act to become a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan health insurer operating much as a statewide credit union where interests of members control company decisions.