The Obama administration unexpectedly announced in late June that it was delaying the implementation of new health law penalties for at least a year, leading many small business owners to wonder what the reprieve will mean for their companies.
Firms with more than 50 full-time employees would have been penalized $2,000 per uninsured employee starting in January 2014. That deadline has now been put off for another year, delaying the implementation deadline for the Obamacare provisions until January 2015.
This delay means small businesses may rethink their strategies for complying with the new health law. Some takeaways from the delay:
More time to assess options. A recent Wall Street Journal survey of small business owners found that about half didn’t know the cost of providing insurance for all employees, and if it would be more or less costly to provide the insurance or pay the penalties. The extra 12 months provides employers with more time to assess their options.
Better compete for talent. Research shows that companies offering health care benefits tend to attract more qualified talent. By implementing coverage before your competitors do, you may be able to recruit better employees.
Renew spending plans. With a year’s delay in implementation of health care law provisions, the cash you may have already set aside to pay for a 2014 implementation could be freed up to cover other operating costs.