The Obama administration stated Tuesday it is delaying for one year, until January 2015, the requirement that businesses with more than 50 employees provide health insurance to their workers or pay a penalty.
The announcement by the Treasury Department comes after numerous complaints from businesses that the requirements were too complicated and difficult to implement in time.
Other key parts of the law, including the health exchanges where individuals can buy insurance, are on schedule. The exchanges will open on Oct. 1, wrote Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Obama, in a White House blog released Tuesday.
The delay also does not change the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to purchase insurance. Some consumers may receive subsidies to help them pay for the insurance depending on their incomes.
The delay gives the administration more time to simplify reporting requirements, as well as for businesses to get up to speed with reporting systems. The government still encourages businesses to voluntarily begin reporting in 2014 so they will be ready for 2015.
Businesses with more than 50 employees would have paid a fee of $2,000 per uninsured employee after the first 30 employees. The Congressional Budget Office expected those penalties to bring in $4 billion in 2014. This does not affect businesses with fewer than 50 workers, who were already exempt from that rule.
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