Starting in 2014, employers employing at least a certain number of employees (generally 50 full-time employees and full-time equivalents, explained more fully below) will be subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions under section 4980H of the Internal Revenue Code (added to the Code by the Affordable Care Act). Under these provisions, if these employers do not offer affordable health coverage that provides a minimum level of coverage to their full-time employees, they may be subject to an Employer Shared Responsibility payment if at least one of their full-time employees receives a premium tax credit for purchasing individual coverage on one of the new Affordable Insurance Exchanges.
To be subject to these Employer Shared Responsibility provisions, an employer must have at least 50 full-time employees or a combination of full-time and part-time employees that is equivalent to at least 50 full-time employees (for example, 100 half-time employees equals 50 full-time employees). As defined by the statute, a full-time employee is an individual employed on average at least 30 hours per week (so half-time would be 15 hours per week).
The Employer Shared Responsibility provisions generally go into effect on January 1, 2014. Employers will use information about the employees they employ during 2013 to determine whether they employ enough employees to be subject to these new provisions in 2014. See question 4 for more information on determining whether an employer is subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions.
Treasury and the IRS have proposed regulations on the new Employer Shared Responsibility provisions. Comments on the proposed regulations may be submitted by mail, electronically, or hand-delivered, and are due by March 18, 2013.