Navigating the ins and outs of the new health reforms can be confusing and, at times, overwhelming. If you’re a small business owner, though, it’s also extremely important.
Under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, millions of Americans will gain access to health insurance for the first time, regardless of their medical history. The reforms also include a number of small business-specific measures to help organisations with fewer employees provide health insurance to their workers.
To assist small business owners still nervous or unsure about the transition, Bernard DiFiore, chairman and CEO of employer services company BenefitMall, outlined several ACA must-knows for small business owners in a recent post for Entrepreneur.
Below are three of his best tips on negotiating the new rules. Remember, these regulations are extremely complicated, so it never hurts to consult a broker, attorney, or similar expert.
1. Small biz, big taxes. “Under the mandate, insurance has to be ‘affordable,’ and in order to meet those standards, the federal government will supply tax credits,” DiFiore writes. “To pay for the tax credits, a variety of taxes and fees were included in the law, and business owners will see these fees accumulate.”
2. Don’t assume you can’t afford to offer care. Even with the extra fees and taxes, DiFiore advises against automatically assuming your small business can’t afford a plan on the new federal exchange. “
For example, if a small business with less than 25 full-time equivalent employees provides health insurance coverage to their employees and covers at least 50% of the cost of health care coverage for their employees, they may be eligible for a federal income tax credit,” he writes.
3. Don’t forget about traditional coverage. The ACA has placed the new public health exchanges in the spotlight, but that doesn’t mean the traditional private market for health insurance is going anywhere. “The vast majority of Americans — individuals and small employers — are expected to remain covered by plans that are offered in the traditional private market,” DiFiore notes.
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