Why size matters
Health insurance laws apply differently to small and large employers, so it is important to know the size of your employer.
- Small employers with fewer than 50 employees do not have to cover employees or their dependents.
- Large employers with at least 50 full-time equivalent employees face a tax penalty, starting in 2015, if any full-time employee receives financial help to buy health insurance through an exchange such as Cover Oregon.
Employers with more than 200 employees who offer at least one health plan must automatically enroll new full-time employees in one of the plans offered, though employees may opt out. The effective date for this requirement has not been set.
- Employers with fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees may be eligible for tax credits to offset up to 50 percent of their premium costs.
- Self-employed people with no employees can buy an individual health plan through Cover Oregon and may qualify for a subsidy to help with costs.
How do I know if I’m a small employer?
Under Oregon law, a small business is defined as having 50
or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTE). A full-time employee, under the
Employer Responsibility section of the federal Affordable Care Act, works 30 hours
or more per week.
These people do not count as employees:
- Sole proprietors
- The owner of the wholly owned corporation
- A more than 2 percent shareholder of an S Corporation or
limited liability company
- The spouse of any person listed above
To determine if you have 50 or more FTE:
- Count the number of your full-time employees
- Add up the number of your part-time employees
- Multiply the number of part-time employees by the total hours worked
by all part-time employees.
- Multiply that number by four (weeks) and divide by 120.
- Add in the number of full time employees to get your FTE
Part-time x hours worked x 4/120 + full-time employees = FTE