Employer Mandate Delayed

    The federal government announced  another delay in Obamacare's rules for employers on Monday, and also relaxed requirements for complying with the law.

    The government will now exempt companies employing between 50 and 100 full-time workers from complying with the mandate that they offer employees affordable health insurance by another year, until 2016.

    Companies that have 100 or more full-time workers, defined as employees who work more than 30 hours per week, still will have to begin complying with the mandate to offer such coverage in 2015 or face financial penalties of at least $2,000 and up to $3,000 per worker.

    In another rule change, the Treasury Department announced that larger companies with 100 or more workers will only have to offer affordable insurance coverage to 70 percent of their full-time workers in 2015 to comply with the law or face penalties, instead of 95 percent, as originally proposed by regulations. Employers must increase that offer to 95 percent of workers by 2016 under the final rule announced Monday.

    Treasury officials also revealed that volunteers at government or tax-exempt entities, such as volunteer firefighters and EMTs, will not be considered full-time workers for the sake of the Obamacare mandate's calculations.

    On the other hand, educational workers, such as teachers, will not be treated as part-time employees "simply because their school is closed or operating on a limited schedule during the summer," the Treasury said.

    2/10/2014