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Employer mandate provision delayed until 2015

July 4, 2013

The requirement that businesses provide their workers with health insurance or face fines – a key provision contained in President Barack Obama’s widespread health care law – will be delayed until January 1, 2015, after the congressional elections in 2014.

The postponement came after business owners expressed concerns about the complexity of the law’s reporting requirements, the agency said in its announcement. Under the Affordable Care Act, businesses employing 50 or more full-time workers will be penalized as much as $2,000 per employee if they don’t offer them affordable health insurance.

Many large companies already provide coverage voluntarily, but some industries, particularly restaurant, retail and other sectors with significant numbers of lower-wage workers, had criticized the additional costs they would face under the provision. 

The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) has been a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act from the beginning. Our belief is that the regulations set forth missed the mark on the problem that small employers have when purchasing health insurance in the first place – cost and cost increases that far outpace inflation. 

Scott Lyon, Senior Vice President with the Small Business Association of Michigan, states that, “Making employers purchase something they cannot afford will hardly help them grow their business, in fact as the White House is now figuring out, it will end up in lay-offs, reduced hours, etc.” 

Lyon hopes that many additional aspects of the law are delayed, overturned, and revamped. “Until we can get costs under control, we can only expect that fewer and fewer small business owners will be able to afford to offer health insurance as an employee benefit.”

The individual mandate, a component of the law that requires most Americans to carry health insurance, still remains in effect.  

SBAM will continue to keep you updated on the Affordable Care Act through our Decision Point website tool.

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