DISCLAIMER: These informational materials are not intended and should not be taken as legal advice. You should contact your attorney or CPA for specific legal or tax advice, as this is not legal, tax, or compliance advice. Any error or omission is completely unintentional.


  1. When does implementation of the ACA begin?
  2. Are we responsible for making certain our employees buy health care?
  3. Do we have to provide health insurance coverage regardless of how many employees we have?
  4. If we opt to purchase health care coverage, what is the cost per employee?
  5. We have a high deductible health plan with an employer paid HSA account. Will this be allowed to continue?
  6. We've opted not to purchase health care coverage. Can our employees still access Oregon's Health Insurance Exchange?
  7. We have under 50 employees and won't be offering health care coverage. Will we be fined?
  8. We only offer health care coverage to full-time employees. Many of our employees are part-time and therefore are not eligible. Can we continue this policy?

1. When does implementation of the ACA begin?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed on March 23, 2010 and has been phased in since September 23, 2010. Many parts of the ACA are already in place. The major components, however, take place on January 1, 2014. In July 2013, the Obama administration delayed the health care mandate for employers with 50 or more workers until 2015, though the hope is large employers will comply as soon as they are able to do so in 2014. back to top of page

2. Are we responsible for making certain our employees buy health care?

No. Each individual American will be responsible for having a qualified health plan as of January 1, 2014 (with a few exceptions). You are not required to verify if an employee has coverage; the federal government will require that each individual verify coverage. back to top of page

3. Do we have to provide health insurance coverage regardless of how many employees we have?

No. The employer mandate applies to employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTEs); a penalty to large employers is assessed if an employee receives a subsidy in the exchange. In July 2013, the Obama administration delayed the mandate for employers with 50 or more workers until 2015, though the hope is large employers will comply as soon as they are able to do so in 2014. back to top of page

4. If we opt to purchase health care coverage, what is the cost per employee?

The rates will vary depending on your census. If you like, you may send AKT Benefit Advisors your census and they can run illustrations based on your employee composition and benefit design preferences. You may also email the Helpline for a list of CPAs. back to top of page

Yes. HSA qualified plans will be offered to small employers inside and outside the exchange. back to top of page

6. We've opted not to purchase health care coverage. Can our employees still access Oregon's Health Insurance Exchange?

Yes. Oregonians who do not have access to affordable coverage through their employer are eligible to enroll for individual coverage; depending on their income, they could receive a subsidy to help pay premiums. back to top of page

7. We have under 50 employees and won't be offering health care coverage. Will we be fined?

The employer mandate applies to employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) and will not take effect until 2015. As a small employer, you would not be subject to this mandate. Remember to count all employees, including part-time, to determine FTEs. For assistance calculating FTEs, email the Helpline. back to top of page

8. We only offer health care coverage to full-time employees. Many of our employees are part-time and therefore are not eligible. Can we continue this policy?

Since small employers (less than 50 workers) are not mandated to provide coverage, you will be able to continue with your same hourly requirement. However, don’t forget that the eligibility waiting period for coverage (in 2014) will be no longer than 90 days. If you currently use the first of the month following 90 days of employment to determine eligibility for coverage, you’ll want to change that to 60 days. back to top of page