Businesses and Obamacare compliance: delays make for moving target

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a moving target for businesses.

The main milestones of the momentous law also known as Obamacare are probably familiar to most Americans by now. The political dustup over its passage in 2010 never really subsided, even after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the key provisions of the law.

Now, nearly four years after the law’s passage, businesses are still trying to figure out what obligations and incentives they face under the ACA.

The first thing most business owners have to keep track of is what the compliance deadlines actually are. Last July, the Obama administration announced a one-year delay in the law’s general requirement that employers covered by the law offer affordable health insurance coverage to employees.

Then, in the fall, the administration announced delays in the debut of the “exchange” where small businesses could buy health insurance for their employees.

In late October, the administration said the small business exchange would be delayed a month. But when late November rolled around, the administration announced that the small business exchange would not be rolled out for another full year.

And then, just last month, the administration backtracked again on requirements for businesses to provide ACA coverage to their employees. Businesses with 50-99 workers will not be required to provide coverage for their employees until 2016.

As noted in a Bloomberg report this week, the administration also recently announced further extensions regarding the renewal of health plans that don’t comply with the ACA.

In short, if you are a business owner trying to keep up with this, you may be utterly confused by the seemingly constant updates and extensions. You may very well have lots of questions about tax credits, health coverage requirements for employees, and other aspects of the ACA.

To better understand your options, it makes sense to talk with a business law attorney

To learn more about our practice, please visit our page on business taxation.