Affordable Health Care Act
Periodically we (Swift Bend) will be presenting information that we have gathered during our own research and sharing it with you. You may have noticed Richard Anton’s blog about Django or how to setup a log rotation and webalizer for Apache logs.
Today we are going to discuss how the Affordable Health Care Act (March 2010) will affect your small business. By doing so we will be providing data from AARP and from the bill itself found on the .gov website. Essentially, we would like to inform the public on how this bill will affect their small business.
The initial statement (goals) for the bill were as follows:
“Finding Insurance Options: For the first time ever, small businesses have access to a new tool that lets them research and compare their health insurance options in one place –HealthCare.gov. Just enter some basic information about your business, and you’ll see a list of all the insurance options available in your area, broken down by how much they cost and what coverage they offer. And starting in 2014, Affordable Insurance Exchanges will make buying health insurance easy. Small business owners will be able to offer their employees a range of plans from different insurers just like big employers do, while still receiving a single bill and writing a single check. They’ll also still be able to choose how much of their employees’ insurance costs they want to cover. And because small business owners will be joining a much bigger risk pool, they’ll no longer be vulnerable to sharp swings in their rates based on the health of a few employees.” (http://www.aarp.org/health/health-care-reform/health_reform_factsheets/)
After any bill is approved there is a judicial review which is normally a legal overview of the document. In the case of the Affordable Health Care Act there was a large decision that affected many Americans found at: (http://www.kff.org/healthreform/upload/8332.pdf) . The decision measured the constitutionality of an individual mandate or the ability for the government to force a tax on its citizens. While the decision did not strip away at the bill itself it did spell out in legal language what the bill really was: a tax.
The shared responsibility portion of the bill charges the recipient of health care a percentage of their income, according to the court upwards of 4 billion a year could be raised in this portion of the bill. The people that would have to pay this fee would be, for the most part, people that cannot afford health care as it stands now.
So how does this affect your small business? According to the AARP website there is a small business credit that could be collected, it reads as follows:
“Small Business Tax Credit: Small businesses have historically paid 18 percent more for health coverage than larger employees. Today, a tax credit is available to businesses with 25 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees and average wages of $50,000 or less. To get more details and learn whether you might qualify, you should visit the IRS website.” (http://www.aarp.org/health/health-care-reform/health_reform_factsheets/)
With the current hold-up in Congress over the sequester a lot of the actionable items have been held up. I would recommend tracking the talking points via: (http://blog.aarp.org/2013/03/18/news-roundup-for-congress-big-deadlines-loom/)