Employer Mandate Delay Will Affect Southern L.A. Area, Expert Says
A recent decision by the Obama administration to delay until 2015 a requirement that large companies provide health insurance coverage to workers will affect health coverage in the southern Los Angeles area, according to a health clinic leader, KPCC's "OnCentral" reports (Martinez, "OnCentral," KPCC, 7/8).
Details of Employer Mandate
Under the ACA, businesses with at least 50 workers must pay a penalty of $2,000 per employee if they do not provide affordable coverage to their employees. Employers will not be required to pay for the first 30 workers who are included in the penalty calculation.
The mandate has spurred broad opposition from both Democrats and Republicans, but lawmakers have moved slowly to address it.
Details of Obama Administration's Announcement
In a pair of announcements posted late Tuesday on the White House blog and the Department of Treasury blog, officials said the employer coverage mandate will be delayed until 2015 to provide businesses with more time to comply with its reporting requirements. The blog posts did not suggest that there will be a similar delay for the individual mandate, which is scheduled to take effect next year.
State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) said that the Obama administration's decision "will not have a long-lasting effect, nor does it undermine the overall effectiveness" of the ACA (California Healthline, 7/3).
Jim Mangia -- president and CEO of St. John's Well Child and Family Center -- said that the delay will have "some impact" in the southern Los Angeles area.
He said, "There are patients of St. John's who will have to have insurance through their employers that are not currently providing it," adding, "A large number of our uninsured patients are currently employed."
Now, such patients likely will not have health insurance until at least 2015, according to Mangia.
He said, "I think you'll see another year of significant numbers of people who are employed and are not being provided insurance by their employers," adding, "And community health centers will continue to eat the cost of that. And hopefully, the Medicaid expansion and other parts of health care that will be implemented will help offset some of that, but I think providers are going to be carrying this for an additional year in serving the uninsured before businesses are forced to insure them."
Mangia called the delay "unfortunate," adding, "[W]e want to see this law implemented" ("OnCentral," KPCC, 7/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.