The telemarketers on Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” are the type of workers who could end up in limbo, assuming their employer doesn’t offer coverage.
Obamacare requires businesses with at least 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance, but that “employer mandate” has been delayed until 2015. So uninsured workers will have to decide whether to buy their own insurance for 2014 or pay the individual mandate penalty.
“The tax penalties in the first year will be less than the cost of health insurance on the exchange (the greater of $95 or 1 percent of taxable household income), so many of the uninsured on ‘Workaholics’ may decide to pay the penalty and wait one year to get employer-sponsored insurance coverage,” says Baldwin.
But their employer may choose not to offer coverage in 2015 and pay the employer mandate penalty of up to $3,000 per worker.
“That may not be a huge hit for a large company compared to the cost of providing coverage,” says Judy Bradby, founder of ProHealth Strategies, a health care consulting firm in Hampton Roads, Va.
There’s been speculation that large employers may cut full-timers because the law doesn’t require coverage for part-time employees averaging less than 30 hours.