Massachusetts employers likely to get 18-month reprieve from health insurance penalty

Boston, July 4, 2013 — Massachusetts employers, which are required to pay a penalty if they fail to provide health insurance for their workers, are likely to get an 18-month reprieve from the mandate, a central piece of the state’s first-in-the nation health care law.

The state budget awaiting Governor Deval Patrick’s signature would repeal the penalty to clear the way for a similar provision in the federal Affordable Care Act that was set to take effect in January. But the Obama administration announced Tuesday that it would delay the employer penalties in the national law until 2015, citing the complexity of the program.

Patrick said Tuesday that he was still considering whether to take action to extend the state penalty but was likely to move ahead with the repeal.

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