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To find out if you will be required to provide a health benefits plan for your employees starting January 1, you need to ­calculate if you have 50 or more full-time equivalent employees.

The calculation method is outlined below, although many other complex rules and factors apply to the analysis.

For each month of 2013:

  1. Count the number of employees who worked 30 or more hours and are considered full time under the health care rules.
  2. For all other employees (including seasonal workers) who worked fewer than 30 hours a week that month, add together the number of hours they worked. Divide the total hours of service by 120.
  3. Add the results from step 1 and step 2 to calculate the number of full-time equivalent employees for the month.

Next, add together the total full-time equivalents for all 12 months and divide by 12 to calculate the average for the year, ­rounding down any fractions. If the answer is under 50, you will not be mandated to provide health benefits.

If the answer is 50 or more and you have seasonal employees, further calculations are needed. If your work force exceeds 50 or more full-time equivalent employees for 120 days (4 calendar months) or fewer during the year, then you would not be ­considered a large employer. If your work force is 50 or more full-time equivalents for more than 120 days of the year, you are ­considered a large employer and will need to provide health benefits.