Question: Is the “small employer” definition of 1 to 100 employees under the ACA only applicable to participation in the exchanges? For instance, can an insurance carrier that is not participating in the exchange still deem a group of 51 and over “large” after 2016? I am trying to ascertain if this new definition is universal. Most carriers “must offer” insurance to small groups (usually 50 and under) - will they now have to offer to groups 100 and under even if they are not going through the exchange?
Answer: In California small group health insurance is governed by a state law - AB1672 - which protects businesses with 2-50 employees. The question you raise is about potential conflicts between California law and federal law - the Affordable Care Act. No worries. The California legislature has already shown itself to be more than willing to modify state laws to insure Covered California is successful.