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W.Va. businesses prep for insurance mandate

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The Affordable Care Act’s  controversial employer mandate is set to take effect in 2015 for companies with 100 or more full-time equivalent employees.

But exactly how this will impact employers — and how employers will react — won’t be clear until the mandate has been in place for a while, experts said.

Starting in January, companies with 100 or more full-time equivalent employees will have to provide health insurance for at least 70 percent of their full-time workers (30 hours or more). Companies that fail to meet this requirement in 2015 will incur an annual penalty of $2,000 per full-time equivalent employee, not including the first 80.

An employer also can incur a penalty if the health insurance provided does not meet minimum coverage requirements or if it costs an employee more than 9.5 percent of his/her total income for a single-person plan.

If an employer fails to meet the affordability requirement, then it will incur a roughly $3,000 annual penalty for each of its employees who receive a federal tax subsidy through the individual marketplace.

The mandate will expand in 2016 to include companies with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees, and the penalty for not providing coverage will be calculated based on the number of full-time equivalent employees minus the first 30.

Even after 2016, employers with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees will not be affected by the mandate…

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