After being given a one-year delay in meeting new health care law requirements, area businesses seem to be in a "wait-and-see" mode in figuring out how to adapt to the new law.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act originally required businesses with more than 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
However, in July, President Barack Obama's administration delayed that mandate until 2015 in response to business complaints about the complexity of the law.
Though the employer coverage requirement was delayed, the administration moved forward with launching national Health Insurance Marketplaces this week and plans to maintain the 2014 insurance mandate that requires individuals to purchase insurance.
State Sen. Mike Green, D-Raleigh, is president of Custom Business Solutions, a Beckley-based professional employer organization that manages and advises businesses on their human resources and benefits programs.
Green said that three months after the administration issued the delay for businesses, it appears many are still no closer to figuring out the law.
"The majority of the businesses we come in contact with are very much unsure and uncertain what the expectations are," he said. "Everyone we're talking to is concerned and they want to comply, but they're really unsure what exactly they need to do to comply."
While they are still uncertain about the law, Green said business leaders aren't feeling as rushed as they were earlier this year.
"We saw a panic right around March and April where everyone was interested and were trying to wrap their heads around this thing," he said. "But then once the president said he was going to push this down the road a year, obviously that urgency fell off."
National surveys of business owners and human resources managers also reflect the continued uncertainty in among the business community.
Payroll processing firm ADP said last month its Research Institute found 68 percent of human resource and benefits managers at mid-sized businesses lack confidence in their organizations' understanding of the health care law's requirements.
A separate survey released Monday by the National Association of the Self-Employed found that 54 percent of small business owners still haven't decided if they will purchase insurance on the health care exchanges.