What Does Obamacare Mean to Your Business? – Updated
Well, it’s no secret… in fact, you can’t turn on a TV or listen to a radio program lately without hearing how Obamacare is off to a really, really bad start. Websites crashing, confusing insurance language, long applications and just about everything you can think of has gone wrong and has put the Health Care Reform roll out in quite a “pickle.”
But the basics of Obamacare hasn’t changed much. The requirements or mandates are still the same as they were back in 2010. This is an update to a post I wrote back in 2010 outlining what you need to know about Obamacare:
If you employ 50 or more, you will face a major choice. Businesses with 50 or more employees will have a choice beginning in 2015 (this mandate was changed from starting in 2014 to 2015). Larger employers can sponsor a health plan for 100% of their workers (even those signed up for government-subsidized health insurance) or pay $750 per worker in penalties to the federal government.
Some analysts have warned that this mandate might result in higher unemployment – A prediction which is coming true as larger employers have already begun reducing staff hours to part-time (under 30 hours) and laying off non essential employees to avoid the mandate.
If you employ 25-49 people, you won’t face this choice. The government won’t require companies with fewer than 50 employees to offer health insurance starting in 2014, and therefore these companies won’t have to contend with possible fines. Employers with fewer than 50 employees can encourage their employees to get health insurance at their State Health Exchange or continue to provide a group health plan directly from the insurance carriers. (Get a Free Group Health Quote by clicking here.)
This is New: Businesses owned by an individual or an individual and his/ her spouse are not considered “employees” or groups any longer. These type of business entities cannot purchase a group health plan. If they wish to have health insurance coverage, they will need to purchase their health plan on the Exchanges.
A major tax credit for smaller firms and “solopreneurs.” If you employ less than 25 or are self-employed, you may find that the healthcare reforms bring you tax relief.
Beginning in 2010, companies with less than 25 employees that pay the majority of health care premiums for their workers qualify for a tax credit up to 35% of their premiums. (In 2014, that credit could be as great as 50% of premiums if you arrange insurance via one of the Small Business Health Options Programs, or SHOP Exchanges).
The tax break you get will depend on a couple of variables: the number of employees you have and their average salary. If you own a smaller company, insurance might become cheaper. The idea is that small businesses can pool together in the SHOP Exchanges and negotiate insurance coverage as a group. Greater buying power implies lower premium costs (in theory).