Question: Do California employers have to provide health insurance to their employees?
Answer: The is currently no requirement for California employers to provide health insurance for their employees. Health care reform places no requirement on small business employers (less than 50 employees) to provide employer-sponsored health insurance in 2014 and beyond.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that larger employers (50 or more employees) provide health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalties called the play-or-pay tax. The play-or-pay tax is one of the most significant tax consequences of health care reform. The tax will take effect in 2014, and it will have a significant impact on large employers subject to it. Both applicable large employers that offer coverage, and those who do not offer coverage to their employees will be subject to this tax. Employers will face another big decision due to this tax. Their question will be, “Should we offer healthcare coverage to our employees at all, or just simply pay the applicable tax?”