What Health Care Reform Means for Small Businesses
stemming from the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act (PPACA) can be difficult to understand. The complexities surrounding health
care reform provisions are driving employers of all sizes to search for understanding
through resources and advisors they can trust.
So what is it
that business owners, specifically small-business owners, must know when it
comes to health care reform? First, let’s take a look at a selection of the
provisions under health care reform and how they are affecting small employers:
Effective: Current small employer tax
credit rates are effective through 2013; enhanced credit will be available on
January 1, 2014.
If you employ fewer than 25 full-time
equivalent employees with average annual wages of less than $50,000 and
contribute to employees’ qualified health care coverage a uniform percentage
not less than 50 percent of premium costs, you are eligible to take advantage
of this requirement.
Small employers that satisfy the
criteria have been eligible to receive tax credits since 2010. For tax years
2010 through 2013, the maximum credit is 35 percent for small business and 25
percent for small tax-exempt employers. An enhanced credit will be available
January 1, 2014.
Affordable Insurance Exchanges
Effective: States must notify the
Secretary of Health & Human Services by January 1, 2013; Exchanges must be
operational by October 1, 2013, in time for January 1, 2014 open enrollment.
Employers with fewer than 101
full-time equivalent employees are eligible to purchase health insurance
coverage through exchanges. In some states, this number may be as low as 50
The deadline for states to relay their
intent to establish a state health insurance exchange was January 1, 2013, for
a state-based exchange, and until February 15, 2013 to opt for a partnership
exchange. These exchanges must be operational by October 1, 2013, in time for
open enrollment for effective dates of January 1, 2014, and thereafter when the
individual mandate becomes effective.
Effective: Delayed until late Summer
or early Fall 2013.
If a small employer is subject to the
Fair Labor Standards Act, the organization must comply with this requirement.
Employers must provide employees with
written notices about new health insurance benefit exchanges on or after the
effective date. This notice must be given to new hires and to those who are
already employed. The Department of Labor has not yet issued the form notice,
and the requirement was recently delayed for an indefinite period of time.
learn about additional requirements for small employers under the Affordable
Care Act, please request our PPACA Checklist
As 2014 draws near, the need for employers to have a full understanding of the
implications surrounding PPACA provisions is imperative. Employers looking to
reduce the uncertainty surrounding PPACA provisions can take advantage of a
multitude of free resources including:
Care Compliance Webcast Series
recently launched a Health Care Compliance Webcast Series to provide the
knowledge and insight that every business owner should know to remain compliant
with PPACA. The webcast series launched in February 2013 and drew an audience
of more than 1,200 attendees composed of employers, insurance Brokers and CPAs
for education on the 2013 PPACA compliance regulations. The company will continue the series on a
monthly basis throughout 2013.
Exchange® is an online community with more than 6,000 members. Here members
learn from compliance experts and find useful information regarding health care
reform. Members can also view the archived version of the Health Care
Compliance Webcast series and stay abreast of new developments around health