Employer Mandate

The Employer Mandate has three related provisions that are the responsibility of the employer. While Blue Shield can provide general information about these provisions, Blue Shield cannot provide employers or brokers with specific legal or tax guidance on these provisions.

On July 2, 2013, the Obama administration announced that it will delay the Employer Mandate, until January 1, 2015. The mandate was originally supposed to go into effect January 1, 2014. This change extends to both Play-or-Pay and the related Employer Tax Reporting requirements. However it does not impact the Employer Exchange notice requirement whereby employers must provide employees with notices regarding the exchange by October 1, 2013. Filling out the Employer Exchange Notice and distributing it to all employees is the responsibility of the employer.

Learn more about the Employer Mandate by downloading our FAQs.

Employer Exchange Notices

Employers are required to provide employees with a written notice about Covered California (the Exchange). Employers need to distribute these Notices by October 1, 2013. The Department of Labor has issued model notices for employers to use. Specific notices include:

In order to help employers complete the Exchange notice, Blue Shield of California has created an overview by market segment of plans that meet the minimum value requirements of the Employer Mandate. View Blue Shield's Minimum Value Plan Overview (PDF, 166KB).

Provisions of the Employer Mandate

Play-or-Pay
Starting in January 2015, the ACA will require employers with 50 or more full-time and/or full-time equivalent (FTE) employees to offer affordable health plan coverage to full-time employees (and coverage to their dependents) or face a penalty if a full-time employee receives federally-subsidized coverage from Covered California (the Exchange).

Employer Exchange Notice to Employees
Employers are required to provide employees with a written notice about Covered California (the Exchange) by October 1, 2013. The Department of Labor has issued model notices for employers to use.

Tax Reporting by Applicable Large Employers
Beginning in 2016, Applicable Large Employers (a company that employed an average of 50 or more full-time and/or full-time equivalent (FTE) employees during the preceding calendar year) must file a return with the IRS that reports the terms and conditions of the health care coverage provided to the employer's full-time employees for the calendar year.