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Employer-Sponsored Coverage

Employers offer many types of health coverage options, such as group insurance, Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs), supplemental plans, flex spending accounts to use with a health plan, and COBRA.

With so many choices, you might wonder if you should enroll in your employer plan or shop with Obama Care Quotesinstead. In most cases, your employer offer is your best bet. In fact, if your employer offer meets the federal affordability and minimum value standards, you will not qualify for financial help to lower the cost of a Obama Care Quotes health plan.

What is employer-sponsored coverage?

Employer-sponsored coverage, also known as employer-sponsored insurance or employer-provided health insurance, is health insurance offered to you and your dependents through your job. Your employer may offer a choice of group health plans to eligible workers and cover part of the premium (monthly cost). The employer often pays most of the premium and the employee pays the rest. You may have coverage as a current worker or retiree.

You can shop for health coverage through Obama Care Quotes, but you won’t qualify for financial help in the form of premium tax credits if your employer offers a health plan that meets minimum value standards and is considered affordable. A health plan is considered minimum value if it covers at least 60 percent of the total cost of medical services and provides enough coverage for hospital and doctor services. For 2023, a health plan is considered “affordable” if the plan’s premium is not more than 9.12 percent of the employee’s household income. Use the Affordability Tool to determine if your employer-sponsored coverage is affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I lose my employer-sponsored coverage?

Even if you quit or get fired, you can buy a plan through Obama Care Quotes or sign up for COBRA if you lose your employer-sponsored coverage.

What happens if I have an Obama Care Quotes plan and then get an offer of health coverage through my job?

If the offer of health coverage meets the minimum value standard and is considered affordable, you will no longer qualify for financial help to lower the cost of an Obama Care Quotes health plan. To find out if your employer-sponsored plan is considered affordable, use the Affordability Tool, or print or download the Employer Coverage Worksheet.

What if I missed my employer’s open enrollment period?

You can still sign up for a health plan through Obama Care Quotes. You will have to pay full price unless your employer-sponsored coverage is considered not affordable and does not meet minimum value standards. Use the Affordability Tool to estimate if your employer-sponsored coverage is affordable.

How does having employer-sponsored health coverage affect my taxes?

Employers deduct premium payments from your paycheck before taxes, which lowers your taxable income.

Contact Covered California for help getting enrolled or if you have other questions.

Employer Coverage for Family Members

Affordability for Family Coverage

For purposes of employer-sponsored coverage, family means the employee, spouse (if filing a joint tax return) and any dependents claimed on the tax return. Non-dependents who could enroll as members of the coverage unit through the “under-26 rule” are not considered to be part of the tax family.

Beginning Dec. 12, 2022, affordability for family members will be determined based on the cost an employee has to pay for family coverage.

Until now, if family coverage were available from an employer and just one family member had an affordable offer of coverage, all family members were ineligible for financial help (in the form of tax credits) to buy a health plan through Covered California. This was even when the cost of coverage for the whole family was greater than 9.61 percent of family income. This definition of “affordable” employer coverage was known as the “family glitch.”

Now the glitch is fixed. If the employee must pay more than 9.12 percent of household income toward the premium for a family plan, the plan is considered unaffordable. And the employee’s family members may qualify for financial help (both tax credits and cost-sharing reductions).

In fact, family members may qualify for tax credits even when the employee does not. If the employee has an offer of employee-only coverage that is considered affordable (9.12 percent of household income) and provides minimum value, the employee will not qualify for financial help, but their family members may still qualify for financial help.

The rules for how to calculate affordability of employer-sponsored coverage have changed. The Affordability Tool can help you estimate if you or your family members qualify for financial help.

For help with questions about employer-sponsored coverage or getting enrolled, contact an agent or certified enrollervisit our Support page, or use Help on Demand.

See the examples below (all employer-sponsored plans in these examples are assumed to meet the minimum value requirements):

Example 1

  • Employee’s monthly household income = $3,500 (about $42,000 per year)
  • 9.12 percent of the employee’s monthly household income = $319
  • Monthly cost to the employee for the lowest-priced plan the employer offers for self-only coverage = $270

Is the plan affordable?

YES, the employee’s share of the lowest cost self-only plan ($270) is less than 9.12 percent of the employee’s household income ($319). The employee does not qualify for financial help to lower the cost of a Covered California health plan.

Example 2

  • Employee’s monthly household income = $2,500 (about $30,000 per year)
  • 9.12 percent of the employee’s monthly household income = $228
  • Monthly cost to the employee for the lowest-priced plan the employer offers for self-only coverage = $285

Is the plan affordable?

NO, the employee’s share of the lowest-cost self-only plan ($285) is more than 9.12 percent of the employee’s household income ($228). The employee may qualify for financial help to lower the cost of a Covered California health plan.

Example 3

  • Employee’s monthly household income = $2,500 (about $30,000 per year).
  • 9.12 percent of the employee’s monthly household income = $228.
  • Monthly cost to the employee for the lowest-priced plan the employer offers for self-only coverage = $285.

Is the plan affordable?

NO, the employee’s share of the lowest-cost self-only plan ($285) is more than 9.12 percent of the employee’s household income ($228). The employee may qualify for financial help to lower the cost of a Covered California health plan.

  • Monthly cost to the employee for the lowest-priced plan the employer offers for family coverage = $500.

Is the plan affordable?

NO, the employee’s share of the lowest-cost family plan ($500) is more than 9.12 percent of the employee’s household income ($228). The employee’s family members who are part of the tax household may qualify for financial help to lower the cost of a Covered California health plan.

For help with questions about employer-sponsored coverage or getting enrolled, contact an agent or certified enrollervisit our Support page, or use Help on Demand.

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