Affordable Health Care Scramble - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Affordable Health Care Scramble

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)- It was one of the major issues tied to President Obama's health care law, the mandate that companies with over 50 employees offer affordable health care to every employee, or face stiff penalties.

Businesses have been scrambling to comply with the mandate set to kick in next year.

Tuesday, a stunning reversal as the administration announced the mandate won't take effect until one year later in 2015.

The Obama administration says it granted the request after listening to the concerns of business groups.

Local Employee Benefits Attorney, Elizabeth Latchana from Fraser Trebilcock in Lansing, believes this delay is a huge relief to some companies. "The employer, now if they do not implement health care coverage in 2014, will not be penalized for continuing not to offer that coverage," says Latchana.

Latchana also said that "for some other employers that have spent fees and time and possibly negotiations with unions to provide benefits that they haven't previously provided, there could be some frustrations".

Frustrations here in a state home to thousands of union employees and frustrations for countless other workers hoping to get health care from their employers next year. "They don't have coverage from their employer, because their employer isn't required to provide it and they will be penalized if they don't get coverage someplace," says Latchana.

As more time and more delays bring more questions,  the future of corporate health care is a question in itself.

In the meantime, the small business community that fought for this delay says this move is a step in the right direction.

Michael Rogers of the Small Business Assoc. of Michigan says that more time just might help employers comply with the mandate in the long run.

Stay with 6 news, we'll continue to follow what this delay means for businesses and workers--in Michigan.

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