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Government delays health-care requirement for firms until 2015

Third in a row; another blog post on the ACA (Affordable Care Act).

Just today, the Obama administration announced it will waive all enforcements or penalties until 2015 for any company that doesn't provide health care insurance to workers.

The law's full list of provisions goes into effect Jan. 1. Tuesday's announcement means larger firms have a full year to establish compliance with the regulations the law imposes.

Passed three years ago, the law mandates large firms -- those with 50 or more workers -- to  provide health benefits to full-time employees or pay fines starting at $2,000 per worker.

As a story noted, "Many large companies already provide coverage voluntarily, but some industries, particularly restaurant and retail and other sectors with significant numbers of lower-wage workers, had criticized the additional costs."

But, it's not clear how many businesses will be affected. One group, the Small Business Majority, estimates 96 percent of businesses in the U.S. have fewer than 50 employees.

The Treasury Department on Tuesday said the waiver will help companies work out the details of compliance.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.




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