This is a common question raised by employers. Fortunately, the specific answer is fairly straightforward. The Affordable Care Act does not require any employer to provide health insurance to its employees.
However, the Affordable Care Act does provide that generally beginning January 1, 2014, a large employer must provide substantially all of its full-time employees and their dependents the opportunity to enroll in affordable, minimum value health insurance, or the employer may be subject to a tax/penalty. This is commonly referred to as the Employer Shared Responsibility mandate or the Play or Pay mandate under the Affordable Care Act.
Takeaway: Even though the Affordable Care Act does not require any employer to provide health insurance to its employees, the Affordable Care Act does significantly change the analysis a company should perform in deciding whether to provide health insurance to its employees or not. It is a complicated analysis that employees should have already started to perform, or should begin to perform well before January 1, 2014. Future posts to MinnesotaEmployer.com will highlight important aspects of the analysis.