Later this month, employers will know - based on the Supreme Court ruling whether to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - if their employees must have health insurance. Should the law and all of its provisions be ruled constitutional, the cost of offering health benefits may prove too much for some employers, allowing employees to seek coverage from state-run insurance exchanges.

Unless the court strikes down the law, states have little more than six months to set up an exchange by January 2013. If they fail to do so, the federal government will set one up for them. For large employers who decide they'd rather "pay" the $2,000 per employee penalty than "play," PPACA permits states to extend coverage to larger employers beginning in 2017.

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