Employers are not generally required by law to provide their employees with health insurance. Nonetheless, health insurance is one of the most common employer-provided benefits that attract and retain workers. When employers do sponsor a company health plan, the health coverage becomes subject to a vast and complex matrix of federal and state regulation. Finally, starting in 2014, certain employers with 50 or more employees that do not sponsor a health plan may face tax penalties for employees receiving subsidies under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
This Section will cover the major federal laws governing employer-provided health coverage. They include (in alphabetical order):
The Health Benefits Advisor provides employers with an overview of certain federal laws that can affect health benefit coverage provided by group health plans. The requirements described in this Advisor generally apply to group health plans and group health insurance issuers (i.e., insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs)). However, for convenience, references here are generally limited to "group health plans" or "plans.”
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