Once again, the Obama administration has announced a delay to the employer mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This time, mid-size businesses (those with 50 – 99 employees) will be getting a reprieve. The new health insurance requirements will not kick in for them until January of 2016, pushed back from January of 2015 (which was pushed back from January of 2014).
Larger businesses with more than 100 full-time employees will be allowed to phase in the health care coverage over the next two years. Under the newest revisions, these employers must cover 70 percent of their employees in 2015, followed by 95 percent in 2016 and beyond. Those who fail to do so will face stiff penalties.
Small businesses, those with less than 50 employees, remain exempt from the mandate.
No changes are being reported to the controversial standard for full-time employees. Under the provisions of the ACA, the definition of full-time employee remains at “30 hours or more per week”. Additionally, the White House will issue a separate set of rules in the coming weeks that will address employer’s requirements for reporting their workers’ insurance status to the government.