Employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees can breathe a little easier this morning, following the announcement by the Obama administration that it will delay key provisions of the new heath care reform law. Specifically, this move by the administration will delay certain information reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act and, most important, the employer shared responsibility payment requirements under Code Section 4980H. According to the announcement, these requirements will not apply until 2015.

The administration cites as reasons for the delay a recognition of the difficulty businesses have been facing trying to implement the law and the need for additional time, as well as the fact that most businesses already provide health insurance coverage for their employees. During the one year delay, the administration hopes to simplify the reporting requirements, and give employers more time to make health coverage affordable and accessible for their employees. More guidance on what to expect during the delay, and after, is coming shortly. Stay tuned...