Employers with less than 100 workers won’t have to provide health insurance until 2016 under Obamacare, as the administration once again delays a key requirement of the health law.
Employers with 100 plus employees will have to cover at least 70 percent of the workforce starting in 2015, the Internal Revenue Service said in a rule issued Feb 10, 2014.
The Affordable Care Act originally stated that employers with 50 or more workers would be required to provide health benefits to all fulltime employees working 30 hours or more. Under pressure from business groups, the Obama administration has weakened that requirement since July, first by delaying enforcement of the mandate until 2015. Many firms will have even more time under this regulation issued today.
“While about 96 percent of employers are not subject to the employer responsibility provision, for those employers that are, we will continue to make the compliance process simpler and easier to navigate,” Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark J. Mazur said in a statement. “Today’s final regulations phase in the standards to ensure that larger employers either offer quality, affordable coverage or make an employer responsibility payment starting in 2015 to help offset the cost to taxpayers of coverage or subsidies to their employees.”
The rule provides employers far more flexibility than allowed by the language of the health law, which levies fines of as much as $3,000 per worker against firms that don’t comply with the requirement.