The Affordable Care Act doesn't require employers to provide health insurance for their employees. Instead, it places the responsibility to obtain coverage on individuals and makes them subject to a penalty for noncompliance. However, an "applicable large employer" that does not offer coverage for all of its full-time employees, offers minimum essential coverage that is unaffordable, or offers minimum essential coverage that consists of a plan under which the plan's share of the total allowed cost of benefits is less than 60 percent, is required to pay a penalty if any full-time employee is certified to the employer as having purchased health insurance through a state exchange with respect to which a tax credit or cost-sharing reduction is allowed or paid to the employee.
The penalty is an excise tax that is imposed for each employee who receives a premium tax credit or cost-sharing reduction for health insurance purchased through a state exchange. For each full-time employee receiving a premium tax credit or cost-sharing subsidy through a state exchange for any month, the employer is required to pay an amount equal to one-twelfth of $3,000. The penalty for each employer for any month is capped at an amount equal to the number of full-time employees during the month (regardless of how many employees are receiving a premium tax credit or cost-sharing reduction) in excess of 30 (80 for 2015 only) multiplied by one-twelfth of $2,000.