For the purposes of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended) employer penalty, “large employers” are defined as firms with 50 or more “full-time equivalent” employees (FTEs). Total FTEs are calculated by adding the total number of “full-time” workers (who average 30 hours per week or more) plus the number of part-time, nonseasonal employees converted to FTEs. If a firm exceeds the 50-FTE threshold, then it could be subject to a penalty if it does not provide health insurance plans that meet minimum standards of “affordability” and “adequacy” set forth in the ACA. The penalty amount is based on the number of full-time workers (not FTEs). For employers that do not meet the ACA’s requirements, the Internal Revenue Service will begin enforcing the penalty for firms with 100 or more FTEs in 2015 and for firms with 50 or more FTEs in 2016 and beyond. The penalty will only be levied on large employers that have at least one full-time worker receiving a health insurance premium credit in the individual insurance exchange markets (part-time workers receiving a credit are not included in the penalty amount calculation).
Date of Report: November 19, 2014
Order Number: IF00064
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