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Obama Administration Omits Self Employed from Healthcare Law Deadline Extensions

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By Katie Vlietstra


On February 11, 2014, the Obama Administration yet again delayed another federal requirement for employers to provide health care, commonly known as the “employer mandate.”

This latest extension to the new health care law by the Obama Administration comes after a series of setbacks that ultimately hurts the intent of the law. Yet again, America’s largest employers continue to receive reprieves from having to comply with the new law.

From health care plan cancelations to hardship extensions to a delay in the SHOP exchange, America’s smallest businesses – the self-employed and micro-businesses nationwide – largely fall into the individual market and continue to ride the rollercoaster of changes and obstacles while large employers continue to get a pass from the Administration.

The NASE continues to call on the Administration to delay the individual mandate penalty in 2014 and extend open enrollment through the end of this year to allow for consumers to adequately access affordable health care.

The elimination of the open enrollment deadline would allow self-employed Americans to have the necessary time to become well-informed in order to make the necessary decisions regarding their 2014 health care needs. While HHS has offered a minor reprieve in extending the enrollment period through March 31, 2014, we believe providing a full calendar year open enrollment cycle seems logical to ensure the necessary numbers of enrollees are met despite the continued difficulties individuals are facing trying to navigate the enrollment website.

In regard to the delay of the individual mandate penalty, the NASE has argued since July 2013 that it is only equitable and fair to also delay the individual mandate given the Administration’s decision to delay the employer mandate for one calendar year. Given the significant technological challenges faced by millions of individuals attempting to enroll in the Exchange Marketplace, the delay in the individual penalty is not only a common-sense approach to addressing these challenges, but also illustrates a good faith gesture by the Administration and Department of Health and Human Services regarding the viability of the ACA for all Americans.

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