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Covered California Q&A

Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Do I have to provide my employees with health insurance?

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Businesses with less than 50 employees are not required to provide health insurance. Beginning in 2014, employers with more than 50 employees who do not offer group health insurance will pay a per-employee penalty fee. Also in 2014, employers with over 200 employees will be required to automatically enroll employees into a group health plan.

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If your company has over 50 employees, the penalties that apply are significant. The penalty is $2,000 annually times the number of full-time employees minus 30. The penalty is increased each year by the growth in insurance premiums. For example, if a company has 80 employees, it will have to pay $100,000 in non-deductible taxes if it does not provide any insurance for its employees. (80-30) * $2,000 = $100,000. Furthermore, if a company provides “un-affordable” coverage which is defined as more than 9.5% of an employees income, and an employee who cannot afford the coverage gets subsidized coverage through the exchange, this penalty rises to $3,000 per employee per year up to a maximum of $2,000 times the number of full time employees minus 30.

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