On Tuesday, July 3, 2013, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that the mandate requiring certain employers to provide health coverage to their employees or pay fines has been delayed until 2015. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, mandated various responsibilities of employers.
On January 1, 2013, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 , which the president has signed. The act delays sequestration for two months, but assumes the remaining sequestration will resume on March 1, 2013. This means that, for two months, health care providers have avoided the 2 percent cuts in Medicare payments scheduled to take place January 1.
The Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care overhaul, holding that it is constitutional in substantially all respects. The ruling further confirms that major changes are coming as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Tax Credits Reconciliation Act of 2010 . The acts have tax and penalty implications for both individuals and businesses.
The debt limit crisis was resolved with the enactment of the Budget Control Act of 2011 . The good news for Medicare providers is there are no immediate cuts to provider payment. In a best-case scenario, there may not be any in the longer term, either, but the bad news is such cuts are more likely than not to occur.