The measure requires that companies with more than 50 full-time employees offer them health insurance or pay a penalty. It was scheduled go into effect next year, but is being pushed back to 2015 to accommodate businesses that had protested the requirement.
“Our simulations show the one-year delay of the large-employer mandate will not have a substantial impact on either enrollment in health insurance or financial support for the Affordable Care Act,” said Carter Price, the lead author of the Rand report.
The study found that about 300,000 fewer people will have employer-sponsored healthcare next year than would have been enrolled had the requirement, known as the employer mandate, gone into effect in 2014. Those are workers in the estimated 1,000 businesses that the analysts expect will not offer coverage next year.
The government will also collect about $11 billion less in penalties as a result of the decision to delay the requirement, the study found.
Those results are significantly less than the findings of a Congressional Budget Office report, which found that as many as 1 million fewer people will have employer-based healthcare.
If the employer mandate were entirely repealed, as some lawmakers and business groups have supported, the federal government would collect a total of $149 billion over the next decade, according to the study.