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Affordable Care Act Timeline: What You Need to Know for Your Small Business

by Tim AustinDecember 17, 2013 8:36 AM

Maneuvering through federal rules and tax regulations has never been an easy task, especially when you are simultaneously trying to grow your business. The Affordable Care Act makes those waters murkier to navigate with the various stages of implementation and rules for different sized companies. 

As a small or medium sized business owner, there are some significant dates to keep in mind in 2014 as the Affordable Care Act begins to take effect. 

 

January 2014

  • The Health Insurance Marketplace coverage begins January 1, 2014
  • The tax credit for small business will only be available if you buy coverage through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchange
  • The tax credit can be as much as 50% of your contribution toward health insurance premiums
  • Individuals who are eligible for employer-provided health coverage will not have to wait more than 90 days to begin coverage
  • The Transitional Reinsurance Program begins and runs through 2016. This program reimburses insurers in the individual insurance marketplaces for high claims costs.  The program is funded through fees which will be paid by employers (for self-insured plans) and insurers (for insured plans)
  • The maximum reward to employers using a health-contingent wellness program will increase from 20% to 30% of the cost of health coverage. Programs designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use could increase to as much as 50 %. 
  • Those with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied health coverage
  • Medicaid coverage is expanding in many states
  • Small businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees making an average of about $50,000 a year or less may quality for employer health care tax credits
  • Individuals without health care will be charged a fee based on household income or on a per person basis

 

March 2014

  • Open enrollment for health insurance marketplace ends

 

October 2014

  • Open enrollment begins again

 

If you are not yet sure how the changes brought on the Affordable Care Act will impact your business, or if you’re considering making major changes to your employees’ health plans (including eliminating it altogether) to combat rising group premiums, contact us today. We provide solutions that enable you to provide quality health insurance to your employees while limiting increases to your healthcare costs.

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