The “play or pay” assessed penalties that are part of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have been the cause of some confusion to business owners as they make decisions about whether or not to pay for health insurance coverage for their employees. Under the PPACA, employers who fail to provide health coverage would be assessed a penalty. While the cost of providing health insurance coverage to employees is tax deductible, the cost of the penalty for failing to provide coverage cannot be claimed. This is an important distinction to understand when making a decision about whether or not to provide employee health insurance coverage under the PPACA.