Your Health and Safety at Work FAQ

Now that the health care reform bill has passed, does my employer have to offer health insurance?

Not right away. Although the health care reform law (called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) will eventually require some employers to "pay or play" -- to offer health care coverage to employees or pay a penalty -- that requirement doesn't kick in until 2014. Even when it does go into effect, it will apply only to employers with at least 50 employees. Smaller employers aren't required to offer coverage, but those that do will receive incentives in the form of tax credits. For more information, see Nolo's article Health Care Reform: What Employers and Employees Need to Know. And that's assuming it goes into effect at all: The Supreme Court will be deciding several cases challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform law. (Check out our blog post, Supreme Court to Hear Challenges to Healthcare Reform, to find out more about these cases.)

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