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U.S. Resets Obamacare Deadline For Some Businesses To 2016

The Obama administration says businesses employing 50-99 people now have until Jan. 1, 2016, to provide health insurance, rolling back part of the requirement known as the employer mandate. Under the Affordable Care Act, larger companies must offer the coverage in 2015.

NPR's Julie Rovner filed this update for our Newscast desk:

"Employers with fewer than 50 workers are unaffected by the health law's requirements. The new rules give those businesses just larger — those with 50-99 workers — an additional year to provide health insurance, until Jan. 1, 2016. In order to get the extension, however, they'll have to promise not to cut existing staff."

It's the second time the requirement for middle-size businesses has been postponed. Julie will have more analysis of the change later, for the Shots blog.

The change was announced Monday by the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service. The agencies say the delay will affect only about 2 percent of U.S. employers.

The agencies also announced a new rule allowing large employers to phase in the percentage of workers they cover, "from 70 percent in 2015 to 95 percent in 2016 and beyond."

As the announcement notes, many of those firms, which employ 100 or more people, already offer insurance coverage.

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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