Another Delay for Employer Mandate Under Obamacare

Employers with less than 100 employees now have until 2016 to provide health insurance.

There has been yet another delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). As the law was written, the employer mandate — the part of the law requiring employers with at least 50 employees to provide affordable coverage to their full-time employees or pay a fine — was supposed to kick in at the beginning of 2014. Last year, the Obama administration delayed the mandate for a year, until the beginning of 2015.

Recently, the mandate was delayed further. The length of the delay depends on employer size:

  • Mid-size employers -- those with at least 50 but fewer than 100 employees -- will have another year to provide health insurance. For these employers, the mandate begins on January 1, 2016.
  • Larger employers (those with at least 100 employees) won't have to cover everyone at once. For 2015, these employers will have to offer coverage to only 70% of their full-time employees (Remember, "full-time" under the law means employees who work at least 30 hours a week.) For 2016, 95% of full-time employees will have to be offered coverage.

These delays appear in final regulations from the IRS interpreting the employer mandate portion of the law.