Many Americans are under the believe that with introduction of the Obamacare in 2014 all employers have to to offer health insurance in Santa Monica and the rest of the country.

This is not the case . The Obamacare  ( the Affordable Care Act ) requires only certain employers to purchase health insurance or else pay tax penalty. Starting January 1 2014, employers with 50 or more full time equivalent (FTE) employees ( on average working more than 30 hours a week)  are required to provide health coverage to full-time employees or else pay a tax penalty.

For small companies, meaning less than 50 employees there is no enforcement that they have to offer health insurance to their employees or pay a penalty. There are tax credits for small companies if they offer health insurance.

Even with the tax penalty, many employers with more than 50 FTE will calculate the cost of not providing health insurance and might find it is more cost-effective to send employees to the public state health exchanges. The penalty for employers might vary between $ 2000 to $ 3000 per employee. The charge starts with the 31 st employee.

It will be interesting to see if employers will reduce their health insurance offering, as the administration work  and health insurance have been permanently increasing in the last decade in Santa Monica and the rest of California.