The decision by the federal government to give a one-year delay before larger businesses will be required to provide health insurance means that Arkansas employees without coverage will instead receive federal subsidies to buy one of several private insurance plans in newly-formed exchanges.
Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford says he believes the delay is a prudent step ensuring businesses have adequate time to understand regulations and implement changes.
"The businesses community didn't feel like they had time to adapt their operations to this change, effective January 1st, and I suppose that the White House listened to those concerns and in the spirit of cooperation are going to delay it," said Bradford.
Bradford says the mandate applies to only about two-percent of Arkansas businesses and that individual consumers should not be effected. However, it does shift the burden of cost away from employers to the federal government for an additional year.