Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage

I work full time for a large employer (more than 50 full time employees). Is my employer required to offer me health benefits?

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Your employer is not required to offer health benefits. However, large employers that don’t offer health benefits to full-time employees and to their dependent children may be liable for a tax penalty. If your employer doesn’t offer you health benefits, you can apply for coverage in the Marketplace; and, if your income is at least 100% of the federal poverty level, you may apply for a premium tax credit that may reduce the cost of coverage in the Marketplace.

Note that a full-time employee is one who works, on average, at least 30 hours per week. If your hours vary during the year, your employer has some options in determining your status as a full-time or part-time worker, including looking back over a certain amount of time to track the hours you have worked to determine whether you are full-time or part-time. Your employer should be able to tell you whether you are a full or part-time worker and eligible for coverage under the plan.

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.