The nation's employers—at least those with 50 employees or more—will remain in the waiting room as a key provision of the Affordable Care Act will be delayed a full year.
In a surprise announcement late July 2, the Obama White House said the requirement of large businesses to provide health coverage to their employees will be pushed back until 2015. With no fanfare, the White House posted on its website that the requirement that businesses with more than 50 workers provide health care coverage or pay fines of $2,000 per employee would not be effective in early 2014.
"We have listened to your feedback," said the announcement. "And we are taking action."
The U.S. Treasury Department said it appreciates "concerns about the complexity of the requirement and the need for more time to implement it effectively." At the same time, it claimed that the impact would be modest. It said, "The vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so."
Unchanged is the Tuesday, October 1 arrival of health insurance exchanges in Idaho and numerous other states, allowing individuals to purchase insurance from a menu of policies.