JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Obama Administration annouced Tuesday evening that some companies will be granted an extension to comply with the Affordable Care Act.
The annoucment brought a big sigh of relief for Craig Smith, Managing Partner of The Alhambra Theatre in Jacksonville.
"Over the last several months we've been gearing up for the changes that were going to be required in 2014 and its a lot to gear up for," said Smith.
The Treasury Department annouced Tuesday that medium and large size companies with more than 50 employees won't be required to provide health insurance coverage to full time employees until 2015.
Smith says trying to meet the old deadline was a daunting task, which could have penalized him $2,000 per employee.
Companies nationwide have been pleading with the government for more time to better understand how the law will effect their bottom line, and the Treasury Department complied, saying it wants the transition to be smooth and effective.
But Smith says it's still not going to be easy,"The process of transition hasn't been hard, but realizing the financial burden is the difficult part and it is a big number."
Unlike many other business owners, Smith hasn't had to cut back yet. "It will come there's no question, so until then we have to look at our expenses and hope that the economy will continue to carry us through," Smith said.
Critics of the Affordable Health Care Act say the extension is proof that the law will not stay on track, and that it should be repealed.
Smith says he's talked to more than six insurance companies, whose representatives tell him they do not believe the new law will meet other deadlines, but on Tuesday, the Obama Administration confirmed it does believe the insurance marketplace will open as planned on October 1.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department is encouraging business owners to consider ways to expand health care coverage over the next year.