The Affordable Care Act enables individuals to not only purchase insurance on an exchange but to also get a subsidy for it if they qualify. That subsidy is the Premium Tax Credit (PTC). There are eligibility criteria such as purchasing the coverage on an exchange (such as Covered California), if the person is employed the employer does not offer affordable coverage and the household income is below 400% of the federal poverty level.
When regs were issued in 2014 at the start of the PTC, section 36B(c)(2)(C)(i) that includes this clause:
“This clause shall also apply to an individual who is eligible to enroll in the plan by reason of a relationship the individual bears to the employee.”