By now, most have heard about the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress a while back. Despite pending their arrival, many people still have questions about how this will affect their businesses and their employees. We thought we’d take a minute to outline some of the higher points in this legislation and what it will look like for our customers
There are 4 main ACA principles of small business :.
First, the creation of insurance exchanges. These exchanges will help individuals and small businesses compare and buy health insurance plans. While these exchanges are set up to help with the choice of coverage, companies will still have the option to purchase insurance through the market outside the exchange. States are required to create and make unique their exchanges free of 2014. Ultimately, these exchanges planned to help 2.6 million small business employees ensure affordable health insurance
Second :. Tax Credits. Small businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees can apply for assistance in the form of tax credits. These tax credits can then be used to offset the cost of health insurance for full-time work. There are two basic requirements for these units: first, the average employee salary will be less than $ 50,000 a year, and secondly, the company must pay at least half of the cost of health care coverage all their time employee. This may be potentially important support for startups and growing businesses in most need of all available working capital
Third :. Grants to wellness programs. Small businesses that may have previously been unable to add such benefits that wellness programs are eligible to receive help from the government. Companies with fewer than 100 employees working 25 or more hours a week can apply for federal grants to help create new wellness program. As with any government assistance, there is a disclaimer: Wellness program may not have been present prior to March 2010. So if a company has always wanted to offer a wellness program benefits to their employees, ACA will help them to start one .
Fourth, penalties for noncompliance. While there is no need for small businesses to provide health insurance, starting in 2014, companies with more than 50 employees will begin to be punished for failing to offer affordable health insurance. Again, companies with 50 or fewer employees will be exempt, while those with more than 50 employees will be fined $ 2,000 per employee per average 30 or more hours a week do not offer coverage (note, this does not include the first 30 employees). Ultimately, these sanctions sure to serve as an incentive for all small businesses to offer this important but expensive benefit for their employees.
While the actual legislation itself is thousands of pages long, this is the highlight, and “what does it mean to me?” For small businesses. There is much more documentation available on http://www.healthcare.gov/law/index.html . Hope this helps.