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Obamacare Employer Mandate Delayed Until 2015

Businesses with more than 50 employees have one more year to skirt penalties.

Looks like some small businesses can dodge Obamacare penalties--at least for one more year. 

The Obama administration will postpone the employer mandate--a key component of Obamacare that fines businesses with more than 50 employees up to $3,000 per uninsured worker--until January 2015, according to an announcement from the Treasury Department Tuesday. Businesses with under 50 employees were already exempt from the penalty.

Why the delay? Turns out, the process for complying with the new law is much more complex than expected. 

The announcement, posted on the Treasury website, added more detail: 

[The delay] is designed to meet two goals. First, it will allow us 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. 

Within the next week, we will publish formal guidance describing this transition. Just like the Administration’s effort to turn the initial 21-page application for health insurance into a three-page application, we are working hard to adapt and to be flexible about reporting requirements as we implement the law. 

The new development reportedly will have no impact on the individual mandate or the debut of new insurance marketplaces, which launch in October.

Bloomberg reported that in the coming weeks, President Obama will "invite employer groups" to come talk about ways of streamlining the administrative hassle the law creates. 

The mandate was originally slated to go into effect January 2014.  

Last updated: Jul 2, 2013

NICOLE CARTER | Staff Writer | San Francisco Bureau Chief

Nicole Carter is Inc.'s San Francisco bureau chief. She was previously an editor at New York Daily News, and her work has also appeared in Consumer Reports magazine.

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