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Are There Penalties for Businesses with Fewer than 50 Employees That Do Not Provide Insurance for Their Employees? – NO


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 1513, "Sec. 4980.H Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage," page 136, signed into law on Mar. 23, 2010, available at the Library of Congress website:

"(2) APPLICABLE LARGE EMPLOYER.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The term 'applicable large employer' means, with respect to a calendar year, an employer who employed an average of at least 50 full-time employees on business days during the preceding calendar year.

(B) EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN EMPLOYERS.—

(i) IN GENERAL.—An employer shall not be considered to employ more than 50 full-time employees if—

(I) the employer's workforce exceeds 50 fulltime employees for 120 days or fewer during the calendar year, and

(II) the employees in excess of 50 employed during such 120-day period were seasonal workers."

Mar. 23, 2010 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590) (2MB)  



PRO (yes)


[Editor's Note: Based upon a neutral reading of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and bi-partisan third party analysis, this question seems to have a clear and obvious Con (no) answer, and ProCon.org has therefore presented the responses in a single column with no opposing perspective.]




CON (no)

Matthew Yglesias, Business and Economics Correspondent for Slate, in his July 2, 2012 article "Should Small Businesses Really Fear Obamacare?" available at the Slate website, wrote:

"Firms with fewer than 50 employees are also exempt from the 'employer responsibility' provision of the law... [T]he law stipulates that companies whose employees receive subsidies to buy exchange plans must pay a financial penalty. That is supposed to deter firms from responding to the law by simply dropping existing insurance coverage. But the ACA doesn't make small businesses pay that penalty."