Understanding Aggregate ALE Groups and the ACA in 2023

Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions (ESRP) are an essential part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These provisions only apply to certain large employers, known as Applicable Large Employers (ALEs). 

ESRP requires these employers to offer minimum essential coverage (MEC) that is affordable and that provides minimum value to their employees and their dependents. Failure to comply with ESRP can lead to drastic penalties. 

The ALE status of an employer can be influenced not only by the number of employees they have, but also by any associated entities. 

Defining an ALE

An ALE is an employer that has 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees in the previous year. 

A full-time employee is an employee that has 30 hours of service or more each week (or has 120 hours of service per month). Full-time equivalent employees are calculated by combining the total number of hours of service in a month for all part-time employees and dividing it by 120.

Understanding Aggregate ALE Groups

There are circumstances where multiple businesses are treated as a single employer under the ACA. This occurs when companies have a certain level of common ownership or are otherwise related under specific rules known as aggregation rules

According to these rules, a group of related companies, or an Aggregate ALE Group, is treated as a single employer for ACA purposes. This means that even if each individual company has less than 50 employees, the group can still be considered an ALE if the total number of employees across all companies is 50 or more. 

Classifying Employer Size

Assessing the Impact

Being part of an Aggregate ALE Group can significantly impact a company’s responsibilities under the ACA. If the group is classified as an ALE, each individual company within the group (referred to as an ALE Member) is required to offer appropriate health coverage or risk penalties. These penalties are applied separately to each ALE Member, and the liability does not spread across the whole group.


Navigating the intricacies of ALE status and ACA requirements can be challenging, especially for companies that are part of an Aggregate ALE Group. Understanding these regulations is crucial for any business to ensure compliance with the ACA, avoid potential penalties, and provide appropriate benefits to employees.

BoomTax, The Boom Post, and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors prior to engaging in any transaction.

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