Minimum essential coverage does not include coverage consisting of excepted benefits, such as dental-only coverage, and employer-based coverage that is not offered through an "eligible employer-sponsored plan", such as a Health Reimbursement Arrangement.
Employer Mandate for Applicable Large Employers
According to Zane Benefits’ website, beginning in 2014, all "applicable large employers" must offer "minimum essential coverage" that is "affordable" to their employees. Applicable large employers who fail to offer minimum essential coverage that is affordable will be required to pay a "penalty" on their tax return.
Applicable Large Employers – If a company employed an average of 50 or more full-time equivalent employees during the previous calendar year, it is considered an applicable large employer for the current year.
Minimum Essential Health Benefits (EHB) – Minimum EHB is a set of health care service categories that must be covered by certain plans starting in 2014. These will vary by state, and will be finalized by each state’s Department of Insurance.
Employer Tax Penalty - If an applicable employer decides not to offer the minimum EHB by 2014, the employer may have to pay a penalty. Read how to calculate the business tax penalty here.
Small Businesses with under 50 FTEs? If the company has less than 50 FTE employees, the mandate and tax penalties do not apply.
According to Zane Benefits’ website, health insurance coverage for individuals and small businesses will become available through new state Health Insurance Exchanges (aka "Marketplaces") starting in January 2014. Each
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