Clock still ticking on health care mandate

Several businesses may be breathing a sigh of relief now that they have more time before a central requirement of President Obama’s health care law goes into effect.

On Tuesday, the administration unexpectedly announced a one-year delay for the requirement that companies with 50 employees or more provide health care coverage for their workers or face fines.

Local lawyer George Millich Jr. of Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell in downtown Youngstown writes a blog about the subject and even talks to businesses about the health care law.  He says the employer requirements are among the most complex parts of the health care overhaul.

“I think you are going to hear a collective sigh of relief going into next year,” said Millich. “You have been given a reprieve of about a year and a half now to see it if applies to you and what your strategy is going to be.”

Most medium-sized and large businesses already offer health insurance and the mandate was expected to have the biggest consequences for major chain hotels, restaurants and retail stores that employ many low-wage workers. Some had threatened to cut workers’ hours, and others said they were putting off hiring.

The delay will put the health care policy mandate after the 2014 elections.

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