The Obama administration said it is delaying penalties for large employers who do not provide health insurance coverage to workers under the federal health care law for 2014; it will now be delayed until 2015. The health overhaul passed in 2010 requires companies with 50 or more workers to provide health benefits to full-time employees or pay fines starting at $2,000 per worker.
The delay is designed to meet two goals. First, it will allow the IRS to consider ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law. Second, it will provide time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health coverage affordable and accessible for their employees.
While the employer mandate is being delayed until 2015, the so-called individual mandate — the requirement that individuals obtain health insurance — remains on schedule for 2014. The government still encourages businesses to voluntarily begin reporting in 2014 so they will be ready for 2015. 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.