The raft of government regulations that came with the latest delay in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act employer mandate emerged only after much negotiation between business, representatives of workers' interests and federal officials.

The final rules – expressed across more than 200 pages – made plenty of headlines when they were released earlier this month. But what are the nitty-gritty details? What follows is a closer look at what the regulators had to say about six provisions with some of the greatest impact on the workplace: 

1. Employer relief

Employers with more than 50 but fewer than 100 workers got several special concessions in the mandate. The regulators demonstrated an appreciation of the challenges many businesses face in this critical growth range, and offered several concessions to enable them to more smoothly integrate the act's requirements into their benefits plans. Perhaps the most important was the postponing of penalties for noncompliance until 2016.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.