Obamacare Employer Mandate Kicks in Jan. 1

Obamacare’s insurance mandate on employers will quietly take effect for large companies Thursday, one year later than planned after a pair of unilateral delays fed into Republican claims the White House plays fast and loose with the implementation of its signature law.

Starting in 2015, companies with 100 or more workers have to provide affordable insurance to at least 70 percent of their employees or pay heavy fines under the “employer mandate,” which was supposed to take effect at the start of this year, alongside the health care law’s other key provisions.

Employers with 50-100 workers will have to comply starting in 2016, at which point all affected employers must insure at least 95 percent of their employees.

Employers with fewer than 50 workers are exempt from the mandate.

The first days of implementation should pass without much notice.