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Mercer projects PPACA penalties

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Employers that opt out of Obamacare can expect to pay $173.33 per employee per month in 2015.

And those that offer plans that are considered too pricey or inadequate should plan to fork over $260 per employee per month.

Those are the figures contained in a new report from Mercer projecting the costs to employers that fail to offer insurance to workers in 2015, or whose plans do not meet the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA’s) standards for affordability or minimum value.

The report also looked at deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for several models of health plans.

PPACA’s “play or pay” mandate, officially known as the Employer Shared Responsibility provision, requires employers with more than 50 full-time employees to make a payment if they do not provide health care coverage to most of their employees. The provision goes into effect on Jan. 15, 2015. For employers who offer coverage that does not meet minimum standards of affordability or value, there is also a penalty.

Mercer’s report noted that the IRS has not yet announced these monthly costs for 2015, but said its analysts had come up with projections based on IRS data and the final regulations released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The assessments will increase over time, because they will be adjusted for inflation each year.

The Mercer report also calculated the 2015 out-of-pocket maximums for employer-sponsored health plans to be $6,600 for individual enrollees and $13,200 for family coverage. These numbers do not include group health plans grandfathered in by PPACA rules.

In addition, the report looked at 2015 limits for high-deductable health plans and health savings accounts. The analysis concluded that minimum annual deductibles for employer-sponsored HDHPs will be $1,300 for individual plans and $2,600 for family plans. Out-of-pocket costs will be capped at $6,450 for individuals and $12,900 for families.

The maximum tax-deductible HSA contributions in 2015 will be $3,350 for individuals and $6,650 for family plans, the Mercer study said.

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