Large employers are required to offer health insurance coverage to their full-time employees or pay tax penalties amounting to $3,000 per subsidized employee and $2,000 per unsubsidized employee. A business qualifies as large if it employs more than 49 full-time employees. The Affordable Care Act law considers employees working at least 30 hours per week, according to the CoveringHealthCareCA.com website.
The Affordable Care Act also considers multiple part-time employees who combine for 120 work hours per month as one employee. As such, if part-time employees who are counted as one employee combine for a total of 50 equivalent employees, the law requires their employer to provide insurance or pay a penalty for each employee.
In cases where a business employs workers with variable working hours, such as those who work 40 hours for 1 week and but not in other weeks, the employer should add the total hours of all those employees for the year. The employer then should divide total hours by 2,080, which is the equivalent to a 40-hour workweek for an employee for 1 year, to arrive at the equivalent number of full-time workers that the business employs, according to the CoveringHealthCareCA.com website.
The employees who are working at least 30 hours per week are eligible for health care coverage starting 90 days after they are hired. Small businesses can also choose to provide health coverage for their employees and may receive tax credits for doing so.