Enjoy it while it lasts.
The dramatic decision by the Obama administration to postpone until 2015 a requirement that larger businesses offer health insurance may prompt some employers to hold off shedding staff or cutting workers hours for now, but experts don't expect to see a big hiring boom because of the unexpected one-year delay, despite the thrilled reaction by some business leaders.
"If it's only a one-year delay, does that change employers' behavior or not?" asked Chuck Clapton, partner in the law firm Hogan Lovells, who specializes in health care.
"Is that enough of an incentive to hire people I otherwise wasn't going to hire? My guess is, it probably does not change the dynamic," Clapton said. "It's not like we're saying we're going to get rid of the employer mandate."
Under the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate, most businesses with more than 50 full-time workers will be required to offer insurance to employees or pay a penalty of $2,000 per worker.
(Read More: Crucial Rule Is Delayed for Obama's Health-Care Law)
About 90 percent of the businesses that fall under that category already offer health-care coverage, and thus won't be affected. Nor will currently uninsured individuals who must buy insurance in the new health insurance marketplace by Jan. 1 or face a penalty.
Both Clapton and National Retail Federation Vice President Neil Trautwein—whose organization hailed the delay—said that most affected employers are unlikely to look at the delay as enough of a reason to hire extra workers, given it only postpones the rule an extra 12 months.