Which companies have to offer a health plan

How many employees does a company have to have in order to be required to offer health insurance?  I work for a big outfit in the tourist industry.  I’m wondering whether I’ll be getting health insurance next year.

Still Uninsured

Dear Still Uninsured,

In 2014, the federal health reform will require companies with 50 or more full-time employees to offer a plan to pay a penalty. Part-time employees count as fractions of full-time; so, two half-time employees equal one full-timer.

Seasonal employees who work 120 days or less per year do not count as full-timers and do not have to be offered a plan. Likewise, part-timers do not have to be offered a plan even though they “count” toward the 50-employee mark.

The process of counting employees is a bit technical, but for most companies, the 50-employee threshold is easy to figure out.  It is even trickier is figuring out whether a particular employee “regularly” works at least 30 hours per week.  Employers are shifting schedules in 2013, since that is the period that will be looked at to determine who is full-time and who is not.

If you do not get a plan at work, you are still required to have coverage.  You will be able to buy your own plan on the insurance exchange.  More information about these will be available in the fall of 2013.


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Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.