Businesses, insurers and insurance brokers scrambled Wednesday to understand the full implications of a one-year delay for a provision of the Affordable Care Act that will eventually require employers with 50 or more employees to offer health insurance or face penalties. Originally scheduled to go into effect in 2014, the employer mandate now won’t be enacted until 2015.
The news came as a surprise to most but was greeted by employers in both St. Louis and Kansas City as a welcome reprieve. Republican legislators took the news as an opportunity to question Obamacare. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, tweeted that the delay is “a clear admission the law is unworkable & costs too much.”
Despite the delay in the employer mandate, the schedule for implementation of two other key provisions of the Affordable Care Act — online health care exchanges and the individual mandate — has not changed.