The Obama administration has said it wants to start applying the mandate provision to employers with 100 or more employees Jan. 1, 2015.

Adding a one-month orientation period may help an employer avoid complying with the new health benefits mandate by about one-third. Federal agencies are offering employers a benefits-free orientation period option in a new batch of final regulations.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are preparing to publish the regulations, Nine-Day Waiting Period Limitation (CMS-9952-F2) (RIN 0938-AR77), in the Federal Register Wednesday.

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