Published in the Manchester Union Leader, October
Question: I read that the Health Care
Reform Law requires businesses with 50 employees to
provide health insurance to all full-time employees in 2014. My
company has 40 full-time employees and several part-time employees
and I have plans to grow. How will the law impact my
Answer: The 2010 health care reform legislation
was designed to increase access to health insurance coverage by
imposing new responsibilities on individuals, employers, insurers
and others. All Americans are required to have health coverage in
2014 or pay a penalty tax. Individuals and small employers (fewer
than 50 employees) can obtain coverage through health exchanges.
Starting in 2014, large employers (50 or more employees) must
provide compliant health coverage to all full-time employees (30 or
more hours per week) or pay a penalty tax. Now that the Supreme
Court has ruled the law constitutional, federal agencies are
working out the details on the employer coverage rules. You should
pay attention to this as hiring decisions you make in 2012 and 2013
will determine if the law impacts you.
The determination of whether you are a large employer in 2014
will be based on the average number of full-time employees in the
2013 calendar year plus the number of “full-time
equivalent employees” or FTEs. The number of FTEs in a
month is determined by adding up the hours worked by all
non-full-time employees and then dividing the total hours by 120.
If the monthly average of FTEs plus full-time employees is 50 or
more, your business must comply with the law throughout 2014.
Large employers will be subject to a yearly penalty of up to
$3,000 per employee if coverage is not offered to all full-time
employees that is affordable (less than 9.5% of an
employee’s salary for single coverage) and of
“minimum value” (by new government standards)
and employees obtain subsidized coverage through an exchange. There
will be numerous rules on how to determine if an employee is
full-time working more than 30 hours, and therefore entitled to
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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