Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage

I work full time for a large employer (more than 50 full time employees) and I’m married and we have kids. Is my employer required to offer health benefits that cover my spouse and kids?

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Your employer is not required to offer health benefits. However, large employers that don’t offer health benefits to their full-time employees and to their dependent children may be liable for a tax penalty. Large employers do not face a tax penalty if they don’t offer health benefits to the spouses of their workers.

If your employer doesn’t offer coverage to your spouse or children, they can apply for coverage in the Marketplace and, if your family income is at least 100% of the federal poverty level, a premium tax credit that may reduce the cost of coverage in the Marketplace.

If your employer offers health benefits (that are affordable and meet minimum value) to you and your spouse and children, you still may choose to purchase coverage through a Marketplace, but your family will not be eligible for premium tax credits to help pay for the coverage.

While we have made every effort to provide accurate information in these FAQs, people should contact the health insurance Marketplace or Medicaid agency in their state for guidance on their specific circumstances.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.