“Small Group Health Plan” Redefined Under the ACA.
On October 7, 2015, President Obama signed The Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (H.R. 1624), which amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) to include employers with 51 to 100 employees as “large employers” in the group health insurance market, with states having the option of treating employers with 51 to 100 employees as small employers. Before this amendment, employers with 1 to 100 employees were generally subject to the heightened ACA market reform rules applicable to small group health plans; however, states had the option to treat these employers as large employers for insurance coverage purposes through December 31, 2015. Commentators suggest that this change to the definition of a small group health plan could reduce premium costs for mid-sized businesses.