One of the main ways that President Obama’s health care law plans to expand insurance coverage is by offering subsidies for individuals to purchase insurance on government-run exchanges. There are a number of eligibility requirements attached to the subsidies such as income level and immigration status. But another fundamental requirement is that applicants for federal subsidies must be able to show their employer does not offer health insurance that meets the federal government’s standards for affordability and breadth of benefits. If the employer offers qualifying health insurance, then the worker is not eligible.
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Yet in its Tuesday announcement, the Treasury Department said it was not only delaying the implementation of the employer mandate, but also the employer insurance reporting requirements. If the Obama administration won’t be making judgments on whether employers are meeting the requirements of Obamacare, how can it assess individuals’ eligibility to receive subsidies to purchase insurance on the exchanges?