ACA Texas Case – Individual Mandate and how it affects employers

By Karlee Bolaños

Transcribed from Video Recording:

One of the issues with ACA that’s in the media recently is the case that was down in Texas in the Fifth Circuit now.

That case is about the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. The court ruled that the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional. Therefore, although the Individual Mandate has nothing to do with what Paragon does for employer mandate purposes, the court ruled that the Individual Mandate is an essential part of the Affordable Care Act. Without it in place, the court had indicated that the entire law is unconstitutional and invalid. That is the decision that is now being tried at the Fifth Circuit.

Yesterday, the Department of Justice put its papers in on the appeal of that case, in support of that decision, asking for the Individual Mandate to be permanently enjoined and for the entire Affordable Care Act to be mandated. This is the first time the federal government has come forward and indicated that it supports the court’s decision and would like the Affordable Care Act to be invalidated. This is just at the appeal level. 21 states across the United States have come to the defense of the Affordable Care Act which is really a turn of events from when every state was clambering that is hated the Affordable Care Act. Now 21 states are coming out in support of the Affordable Care Act and lobbying against the court’s decision and putting in papers state by state to ask the court to overturn the lower court’s decision invalidating the individual mandate.

Very popular issue in the news right now.

My message on this point and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the technicalities of this decision are to not really pay attention to all of that. Why? Because what you care about as an employer with the Affordable Care Act is the Employer Mandate, which is completely separate and apart from the Individual Mandate and all of the court challenges that have been going on about the Affordable Care Act and all of the talk that we’ve seen in the news about the Affordable Care Act since its inception in 2010. It’s been about the Individual Mandate.

Nobody really talks about all of these parts of the law that you’ve been struggling with and complying with, which are the Employer Mandates. The Employer Mandates include having to provide affordable health care coverage to all of your full-time employees. As you know, the very tricky definitions that we help you with are around who’s full-time, who’s not full-time, making sure that you offer to the right individuals under the Affordable Care Act. Then, of course, all of the reporting to the Internal Revenue Service. None of that is implicated in this case. For the first time the government has really come out in support of the complete dissolution of the Affordable Care Act, which would ultimately affect what we do to assist you with the Affordable Care Act Employer Mandates. This will be going on in the courts for many years.

What we need to do right now is not let down our guard around Affordable Care Act compliance, not pay attention to all the hype in the media about the Individual Mandate and continue business as usual, making sure were offering coverage to the right people. The law is certainly still in effect so we must be sure that our reporting is spot on.

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