In a move that was generally applauded by employers, the Obama administration announced last week that it would delay implementation of the employer health coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act until January 1, 2015. The good news is that this gives employers another year to prepare for the so-called pay-or-play mandate that requires employers with at least 50 full-time-equivalent employees to offer affordable health coverage to those who work at least 30 hours a week. The bad news is that it remains unclear what compliance still means for employers.

While the employer mandate is suspended, a variety of key provisions that go into effect on January 1, 2014 remain in play. Subject to any future adjustments, plans are still obligated to comply with a number of specific changes. These include:

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