The short answer is yes, small businesses in California are legally required to offer health insurance to all their employees.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees must offer health insurance to all their employees or risk paying a hefty fine. This requirement applies not just to California businesses, but to employers all over the United States.
In California, the employer mandate to offer health insurance also applies to small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. All small businesses in the state must provide basic health coverage to their full-time employees and their dependents, or face potential fines and penalties.
The California Department of Managed Health Care outlines the specifics of the state's employer health insurance mandate. Companies with fewer than 19 employees can become eligible for special rate subsidies and other benefits to help offset the cost of offering health insurance.
In conclusion, small businesses in California are legally obligated to offer health insurance to all their employees, including those with fewer than 50 full-time-equivalent employees. California small businesses should seek guidance from the California Department of Managed Health Care to ensure that they are in compliance with the state's health insurance laws.