QUESTION

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?

Individuals with coverage | Coverage for Employees of a Large Employer
ANSWER

Your employer is not required to offer health benefits. However, employers with 50 or more employees that don’t offer health benefits to their full-time employees and to their dependent children (but not their spouse) 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 between 100 percent and 400 percent 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 to you and meet minimum value, 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. (26 U.S.C. 36B; 26 U.S.C. § 4980H).

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