On Tuesday, July 2, the Treasury Department announced that a major component of the Affordable Care Act--penalizing employers up to $3,000 per employee for failing to provide cost-effective health insurance--has been delayed for one year until 2015. Under the law, companies with at least 50 full-time equivalent employees are required to provide qualifying health insurance to employees or face the stiff penalties. Employers are also required to report information about their health care beneftis to the federal government. Employers are exempt from both requirements until 2015.
The Obama administration insisted that the delay does not mean implementation of health care reform is in jeopardy. The administration emphasized that health insurance exchanges and other key provisions of the law, are moving forward with an October 1 implementation date. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and business groups largely oppose the Affordable Care Act.