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CALIFORNIA: health insurance

Los Angeles, CA |

In CALIFORNIA: Is a small business (under 20 employees) legally responsible for offering health insurance?

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Attorney answers 2


A private California employer is not required to offer health insurance, absent a labor contract requirement, but it is commonly offered on a premium-split basis between the employee and the employer. Your "20 employee" reference may refer to the fact that if you offer health insurance, you must under federal law continue coverage after termination of an employee under certain circumstances (COBRA); but under later-enacted California law, such coverage must be offered for a few as 2 employees (Cal-COBRA).

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You do not presently have a legal obligation to provide your employees with health insurance.
If you want to provide it you may. In order to qualify for 'small group' insurance in California you will need to have between 2-50 full-time employees.

You will need to provide the following information to the insurance broker or company:
Your company's wages and earnings (DE6)
The ages of your staff
Your employee's residential zip codes
The worker's compensation information for your business.

If you elect to provide insurance you are only required to cover all of your full-time workers (anyone working 30 hours or more). You many choose to cover their dependents and/or your part-time staff (anyone working between 20-29 hours) and their dependents. If you provide health insurance to one, then you must provide it to the entire group.

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