I AM A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER
Small businesses pay much more than large employers for the same health coverage. And premiums for small businesses are expected to grow an average of 15% in 2010. Health reform provides small businesses, the engine of our economy, with relief from these skyrocketing health care costs.
2010 to 2013
- New tax credits for small employers contributing at least 50% of the total premium: The full 35% credit of your employer contribution will be available to small businesses with fewer than 10 employees averaging less than $25,000 annual wages. Small employers with fewer than 25 employees and average annual wages of less than $50,000 are eligible for a sliding-scale credit
- Insurers will no longer be able to drop your coverage if you or an employee gets sick
- No lifetime caps on your benefits
- Grant money awarded to small businesses that establish employee wellness programs.
- Creates a long‐term care insurance program to be financed by voluntary payroll deductions to provide benefits to adults who become functionally disabled.
- The tax credit will increase up to 50% of the employer premium contribution for lasts 2 years
- Small business owners with fewer than 100 employees can shop for and compare plans through the new online marketplace called the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchange
- Pool risk with other small businesses, giving you the same competitive advantage as large businesses, lowering costs and freeing up revenue to hire additional employees or give raises
- More choices of health plans through the exchange; compare plans apples to apples
- You can select a plan or select of level of plan (bronze, silver, gold, platinum) and let your employees pick the plan within that level that works best for them
- Premiums no longer based on health status, so if an employee gets sick, costs won’t skyrocket.
- New clear and plain language on insurance forms so that you can easily understand what benefits and what doctors are covered in your plan.
- Annual limits on your benefit plan prohibited
- Deductibles limited to $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families in small group market
- Exempt from employer requirements to provide insurance, if you have 50 or less employees.
- If you have 51+ employees, don’t offer insurance, and at least 1 full-time employee receives a premium credit, you’ll be assessed $2,000/full-time employee, excluding the first 30 employees.
- If you have 51+ employees, offer coverage but have at least 1 full-time employee receiving a premium credit, you will pay the lesser of $3,000 for each employee receiving a premium credit or $2,000 for each full-time employee.
- IRS Answers FAQ’s on the Tax Credit (IRS.gov)
- Preparing for Health Reform: The Role of the Health Insurance Exchange
(Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, March 2010)
- What’s in Healthcare Reform for Small Businesses? (Small Business Majority)