1. Employers with between 50 to 99 employees get another year of transition. The Obama administration will give medium-sized businesses another year's pass on providing insurance coverage to workers. Treasury estimates that about 2 percent of American businesses fall into this category, but does not have numbers on how many people work for businesses of this size. For these companies, the employer mandate does not take effect until 2016. [...]Just a reminder when the Republicans start screaming about the administration willy-nilly changing this law—the employer mandate was one of the things they were trying to get rid of entirely in their government shutdown fight. Republicans hate it. They think it shouldn't exist. They'll very soon be gnashing their teeth and rending their garments over this delay. It's what they do.
2. Employers with 100 or more workers aren't required to cover everyone. Previous regulations had required large employers to offer coverage to 95 percent of full-time employees to be considered in compliance with the employer mandate. Today, Treasury is ratcheting that requirement back: Large companies that offer coverage to 70 percent of their employees will be counted as fulfilling the employer mandate. This is a transitional measure and, by 2016, large employers will need to hit the original, 95 percent target. Treasury estimates another 2 percent of American businesses fall into this category, with more than 100 employees, but again, we don't have numbers on how many workers those companies employ.
3. Volunteers won't be counted as full-time employees. There had been some tussling on Capitol Hill over whether certain volunteers—mostly volunteer firefighters—would count as full-time employees, for purposes of the health care law. Today's rule clarifies that they do not count as employees—which eliminates any incentives to get rid of volunteer positions.
The other thing to keep in mind is that this will not have much impact for American businesses, as almost all large employers—something like 95 percent of them—already offer insurance to their employees.