Skip to main content

What does the one-year extension of Obamacare mean?

Most businesses welcomed the 1-year extension to give more time to prepare for their employee benefits program. With over 70,000 pages of rules so far, few if any business owners really know what the law will require. The extension really helps those businesses who do not have an employee health plan by giving an extra year without a penalty. The extension does NOT materially change the financial impact on most companies who either offer employee benefits or who plan to as the cost is still projected to double by 2020. Most large employers already offer health care benefits and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees are still exempt so the extension means nothing to them. The rules, coverages and mandates all remain in place. The announcement pertains only to the employer mandate and the employer reporting requirements. The extension does NOT delay the individual mandate which requires all Americans currently without health insurance to obtain coverage effective January 1, 2014—five months away! These individuals will be able to purchase insurance independently via the new marketplace [Navigators] beginning October 1 this fall.