For Consumers

What employers need to know about health insurance and health reform

In 2016, large employers with 50 or more employees must offer affordable insurance to their employees and their dependent children or they’ll pay a federal tax penalty. The rules for calculating the penalty are complex. We suggest you contact your tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service (www.irs.gov) about the federal tax penalty, or for further administrative or legislative changes to health reform’s federal employer mandate.

A plan is considered unaffordable if the employee’s share is more than 9.55 percent of their wages, or if the plan pays for less than 60 percent of covered  health care expenses.

Large employers cannot buy coverage through Washington state’s new Exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder (www.wahealthplanfinder.org).

If you don’t offer health insurance

If any of your employees get a tax credit or subsidy to buy a plan in the Exchange, you must pay an annual penalty of $2,000 times the number of full-time employees minus 30.

If you offer health insurance, but it’s unaffordable

If any employee gets a tax credit or subsidy to buy a plan in the Exchange, you must pay an annual $3,000 penalty for each full-time employee receiving a tax credit, up to a maximum of $2,000 multiplied by the number of full-time employees minus 30.