The Obama administration announced yesterday that businesses wouldn’t be penalized in 2014 if they don’t provide health insurance.
“The Obama administration will not penalize businesses that do not provide health insurance in 2014,” wrote the Washington Post, adding, “Instead, it will delay enforcement of a major Affordable Care Act requirement that all employers with more than 50 [full-time] employees provide coverage to their workers until 2015.
In a WhiteHouse.gov blog post, Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement, wrote that the administration believes that employers need more time for compliance: “Since employer responsibility payments can only be assessed based on this new reporting, payments won’t be collected for 2014. This allows employers the time to test the new reporting systems and make any necessary adaptations to their health benefits while staying the course toward making health coverage more affordable and accessible for their workers,” she wrote.
Moving forward, Jarrett offered a quick review of what small and large businesses will need to know about the health law:
- “If you are a small business with less than 50 workers, the law’s employer shared responsibility policies does not apply to you. Instead, you will gain access to the Small Business Health Options Program that gives you the purchasing power of large businesses. In fact, you may be eligible for a tax credit that covers up to half the cost of insurance if you offer quality coverage to your employees
- If you own a business with more than 50 workers that already offers full-time workers affordable, quality coverage, you are fine – we’ll work with you to keep that coverage affordable.
- And if you are a company with more than 50 employees but choose not to offer quality affordable coverage, we have provided as much flexibility and transition time as possible for you to move to providing affordable, quality coverage to your workers.”
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.