Myth vs. Fact- Myth #1: All Businesses Will Be Required to Provide Health Insurance to All of Their Employees
by Meredith K. Olafson, Community Moderator
- Created: February 20, 2013, 4:00 pm
- Updated: February 20, 2013, 4:00 pm
As a business owner, it’s important to understand how the Affordable Care Act can affect your business. However, with so many misconceptions about how the Affordable Care Act works, this can be difficult. To clarify the myths versus facts, we’re launching a new blog series called “Myth vs. Fact: The Affordable Care Act and Small Business”.
This blog covers one of the most common myths we’ve seen out there: All businesses will be required to provide health insurance to all of their employees.
Fact: Employers are not required to provide coverage to their employees under the Affordable Care Act. However, starting in 2014, some businesses that do not offer health coverage to their full-time employees may be subject to a shared responsibility payment under the health care law.
How do I know if I may be subject to an Employer Shared Responsibility Payment?
Businesses with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent (FTE) employees that do not offer affordable health insurance that provides a minimum level of coverage to their full-time employees (and dependent children under the age of 26 starting in 2015) may be subject to a shared responsibility payment if at least one of their full-time employees receives a premium tax credit in an Affordable Insurance Exchange, or Marketplace. For the purposes of these provisions, a full-time employee is one who is employed an average of at least 30 hours per week.
Businesses will not be affected by these provisions if they already offer affordable health coverage that provides a minimum level of coverage to their full-time employees, which is the vast majority of these businesses.
Businesses with fewer than 50 full-time or FTE employees are generally not affected by these provisions. However, it’s important to know that if companies have a common owner or are otherwise related, their total combined number of employees is used to determine whether each separate company is subject to these provisions — even if none of the member companies individually employ 50 or more full-time or FTE employees.
How can I find out if I meet the threshold number of 50 or more full-time or FTE employees?
To assist employers, the IRS has developed a helpful set of Q&As on the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions. The IRS has also issued a set of proposed rules relating to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions, and is accepting written or electronic comments by or before March 18, 2013.
About the AuthorMeredith K. Olafson is Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. Small Business Administration where she oversees the agency's education and outreach efforts around health care and the Affordable Care Act.
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This blog is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal or tax advice. Readers should consult their legal or tax professionals to discuss how these matters relate to their individual business circumstances.