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What if I already insure my employees?

 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a complicated law that will affect businesses in varying ways.  The ACA mandates that businesses with 50 or more full time equivalent employees must offer health insurance to their employees by 2015 or pay a penalty.  This requirement will not affect many businesses with 50 or more full time employees because 90% of them already offer their employees health insurance.

 

One ACA requirement that will affect most employers is that employees must be provided with an "exchange notice". The notice must explain about:

 

-           The existence of the health care exchange

 

-           That employee’s may be eligible for a premium tax credit or a cost sharing reduction if the employer’s plan does not meet certain requirement.

 

-           That if employees purchase health insurance through an individual exchange that might lose any employer contribution, and that all or a portion of their employer contribution may be excludable for federal income tax purposes.

 

Employers with 50 or fewer employees that already insure their employees will not be required to change their insurance as a result of the ACA, but they may be tempted to consider buying health insurance through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). SHOP is a new program that is being initiated as a result of the ACA.  The program will be available to employers with 50 or fewer full time equivalent employees (FTE).  The program allows small business owners to compare health plans online on an apples to apples basis. It is designed to help small business owners to control cost and coverage’s and it provides a small business health care tax credit for businesses with 25 or fewer employees that could be worth up to 50% of the premiums cost.  The small business health care tax credit is only for plans that are purchased through SHOP. 

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