Now that it’s 2015, the next phase of Obamacare kicks in: Employers of more than 100 people must give them insurance benefits. This provision of the Affordable Care Act had been delayed by executive decree, but now it goes into effect.
Most employers in this range already provide health insurance to their employees, though the law does change things for the companies. For example, those who work as many as 30 hours must now get insurance, even though they are not full time.
This time next year, the mandate will apply to smaller businesses those of 50 or more workers. Businesses that hire fewer than 50 are not covered in the law and will not have to insure their employees.
Obamacare’s insurance mandate on employers will quietly take effect for large companies Thursday, one year later than planned after a pair of unilateral delays fed into Republican claims the White House plays fast and loose with the implementation of its signature law.Starting in 2015, companies with 100 or more workers have to provide affordable insurance to at least 70 percent of their employees or pay heavy fines under the “employer mandate,” which was supposed to take effect at the start of this year, alongside the health care law’s other key provisions.
Employers with fewer than 50 workers are exempt from the mandate.
The first days of implementation should pass without much notice.
“For most large companies, it’s not going to be a major problem,” said Caroline Pearson, a vice president at Avalere Health, a Washington-based consultancy, who noted most companies with more than 100 workers offer compliant insurance.
But human resources departments will grapple with IRS reporting requirements from day one to document their compliance and avoid tax penalties, a task that can get Byzantine and expensive for companies with lots of part-time workers and seasonal workers, who add up to full-time “equivalents.”