WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Obama Administration will delay the date upon which smaller employers must comply with the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ACA) laws. Under today's government action, all companies employing between 50 and 100 employees will not be required to offer health insurance to workers until Jan. 1, 2016.
The news is sure to affect thousands of convenience store operators that employ between 50 and 100 workers. However, those retailers employing more than 100 full-time employees (defined as 30 hours per week or more) must comply with ACA -- otherwise known as Obamacare -- rules by Jan. 1, 2015.
Retailers with more than 100 workers as of 2015 must offer affordable health insurance to employees or pay a $3,000-per-worker fine for every worker beyond the first 30 employees.
Any retailer employing less than 50 people will remain exempt under Obamacare rules.
Government officials cannot say how many workers will be affected by this law change.
"We've gotten a lot of requests to give some more time to some small businesses that would otherwise be subject to this, and we're responding to that by addressing these businesses," a U.S. treasury official told reporters today. "We think a phase-in approach is a way to administer the law better and enhance overall compliance with the law."
The deadline for employers to offer Obamacare coverage has been delayed on multiple occasions in the past.