Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act


Small Firms Exempt from Employer Responsibility Requirement


The Affordable Care Act does not include an employer mandate. As a matter of fairness, the Affordable Care Act requires large employers to pay a shared responsibility fee only if they don’t provide affordable coverage and taxpayers are supporting the cost of health insurance for their workers through premium tax credits for middle to low income families.


The law specifically exempts all firms that have fewer than 50 employees

96 percent of all firms in the United States or 5.8 million out of 6 million total firms – from any employer responsibility requirements. These 5.8 million firms employ nearly 34 million workers. More than 96 percent of firms with 50 or more employees already offer health insurance to their workers. Less than 0.2 percent of all firms (about 10,000 out of 6 million) may face employer responsibility requirements. Many firms that do not currently offer coverage will be more likely to do so because of lower premiums and wider choices in the Exchange.


Small Business Health Care Affordability Tax Credits

Under the Affordable Care Act, an estimated 4 million small businesses nationwide could qualify for a small business tax credit this year, which will provide a total of $40 billion in relief for small firms over the next 10 years.

  • Small employers with fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees and average annual wages of less than $50,000 that purchase health insurance for employees are eligible for the tax credit. The maximum credit will be available to employers with 10 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and average annual wages of less than $25,000. To be eligible for a tax credit, the employer must contribute at least 50 percent of the total premium cost.

  • Businesses that receive state health care tax credits may also qualify for the federal tax credit. Dental and vision care qualify for the credit as well.

  • Small employers who purchase coverage through the new Health Insurance Exchanges can receive a tax credit for two years of up to 50 percent of their contribution. Tax-exempt small businesses meeting the above requirements are eligible for tax credits of up to 35 percent of their contribution.

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