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Wiggle room for big firms under new coverage rule

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 11, 2014 at 4:36 pm •  Published: February 11, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Big stores, hotels, restaurants and other companies with lots of low-wage and part-time workers will be among the main beneficiaries of the Obama administration's latest tweak to health care rules.

Consultants and government officials say companies with 100 or more workers can avoid the biggest of two potential employer penalties in the Affordable Care Act if they offer coverage to 70 percent of their full-timers.

That target is a lot easier to hit than the administration's previous requirement of 95 percent.

But the wiggle room is only good for next year.

Treasury officials say the goal is to create an easier path for employers already covering many of their workers.

The administration said Monday that medium-size companies with 50 to 99 workers will have an extra year to comply.