The news Tuesday that the Obama administration will delay until 2015 the requirement that employers with more than 50 employees provide insurance does not impact the vast majority of small business owners.
Ninety-six percent of businesses in this country have fewer than 50 employees. For these employers nothing changes because they were already exempt from the employer responsibility requirements. For larger businesses with more than 50 employees, 96 percent already offer insurance and we believe will continue to for business reasons. Only the 4 percent of larger employers that do not offer health insurance will be impacted by the delay in the penalty.
The one-year delay in reporting requirements will allow larger businesses time to adjust and provide additional input to the Treasury on how the proposed requirements will work best.
The most important provisions for small business owners in the law are still moving full steam ahead, including health insurance exchanges.
The exchanges, coming online on Jan. 1, 2014, will allow small businesses to pool their buying power to help drive down coverage costs. Additionally, small employers that do offer coverage will be eligible for a tax credit of up to 50 percent of their premiums.
Terry Gardiner is vice president of policy and strategy at Small Business Majority, a Washington, D.C.-based national small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners, to support America’s 28 million small businesses.