“Small Group Employer” Definition in Each State

December 22, 2015

Category: Compliance

gavel and flag

Initially, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) defined “small employer” as an employer who employed an average of at least 1 but not more than 100 employees. The Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act, which became effective October 7, 2015, amended the ACA definition of “small employer.” Currently, a “small employer” is defined as an employer who employed an average of at least 1 but not more than 50 employees. Additionally, the PACE Act changed the ACA to allow states to define a “small employer” as an employer who employed an average of at least 1 but not more than 100 employees.

Each state has different definitions for what constitutes a “small employer.” These state law distinctions are important for state law insurance functions, like classification for rates. Please refer to the following table below as guidance on how each state has chosen to define “small employer.”

It is important to note that these state law distinctions have no bearing on the ACA employer mandate. And nothing in the PACE Act changed the ACA’s employer mandate. Employers who employed an average of at least 50 full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) must comply with the ACA employer mandate for offering coverage and reporting responsibilities.

For more information on how Zenefits helps employers comply with the ACA visit: https://help.zenefits.com/ACA_Automation


“Small Group Employer” Definition

Alabama 2 to 50
Alaska 2 to 50
Arizona 2 to 50
Arkansas 2 to 50
California 1 to 100
Colorado 1 to 100
Connecticut 1 to 100
DC Up to 50
Delaware Up to 50
Florida 1 to 50
Georgia 2 to 50
Hawaii 1 to 50
Idaho 2 to 50
Illinois 2 to 50
Indiana 1 to 50
Iowa 1 to 50
Kansas 2 to 50
Kentucky 2 to 50
Louisiana 1 to 50
Maine Up to 50
Maryland Up to 100
Massachusetts 1 to 50
Michigan 2 to 50
Minnesota 1 to 50
Mississippi Up to 50
Missouri 2 to 50
Nebraska 2 to 50
Nevada 1 to 50
New Hampshire 1 to 50
New Jersey 2 to 50
New Mexico 2 to 50
New York Up to 100
North Carolina Up to 50
North Dakota 2 to 50
Ohio 2 to 50
Oklahoma Up to 50
Oregon 1 to 50
Pennsylvania 1 to 50
Rhode Island Up to 50
South Carolina Up to 50
South Dakota 2 to 50
Tennessee 2 to 50
Texas 2 to 50
Utah 1 to 50
Vermont Up to 100
Virginia 1 to 50
Washington 1 to 50
West Virginia 2 to 50
Wisconsin 2 to 50
Wyoming 2 to 50


*This post has been updated for up to date links on October 24th, 2016. 


After working in the field of psychology research for years, Bella loves sharing what she's learned in a more directly impactful context. She's interested in the intersection of people and business, and wants to promote conversations about HR. She's an amateur ceramicist, pro dog walker, and produces podcasts on the side.

Category: Benefits, Featured

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