Tag Archives: health insurance

How Does the Affordable Care Act Impact Your Business?

The health care law contains tax provisions that affect employers. The number of employees an employer has during the current year determines whether it is an applicable large employer for the following year and which parts of the law apply to which employers.

  • Applicable large employers are generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees.
  • Employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees, including FTE employees, are not applicable large employers.

Fewer Than 50 Employees

Information Reporting

  • All employers, regardless of size, that provide self-insured health coverage must le information returns with the IRS about individuals they cover and furnish a statement to employees about the coverage provided. If health coverage is provided through an insurance policy, the issuer les the return and furnishes the statement.
  • The first information reporting returns are due to be led and furnished in 2016 for 2015.

Payments

  • Employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees, including FTEs, are not subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions.

SHOP Eligibility

  • Employers can purchase insurance through the Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace.

Credits

Employers may be eligible for the small business health care tax credit if they:

  1. cover at least 50% of employees’ premium costs,
  2. have fewer than 25 FTEs with average annual wages of less than $50,000, and
  3. purchase their coverage through the Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace.

50 or More Employees

Information Reporting

  • Applicable large employers must le information returns with the IRS about the coverage they offered and furnish a statement to employees about the health coverage offered. If applicable large employers provide self-insured coverage, the employer also includes information about covered individuals on the information return.
  • The first information reporting returns are due to be led and furnished in 2016 for 2015.

Payments

  • Applicable large employers are subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions. Various forms of transition relief are available for 2015, including for applicable large employers with fewer than 100 full-time employees, including FTEs.
  • In general, applicable large employers are subject to a payment if the employer does not offer affordable coverage that provides minimum value to its full-time employees and their dependents and at least one full-time employee gets a premium tax credit.

SHOP Eligibility

  • Employers with 100 or fewer employees, including FTEs, in 2016 can purchase insurance through the Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace.

Find out more about the tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act at IRS.gov/aca.

Employer Sponsored Insurance

Why Your Small Business Should Offer Employer Sponsored Insurance

The ACA has had a big impact on the state of health coverage, and left some businesses wondering if they should offer employer sponsored insurance. While there are obvious costs involved, the overall benefits usually outweigh these costs. Here are some of the top reasons why your small business should offer employer sponsored insurance and details on what you can expect to pay.

 

Employee Benefits

Offering coverage can have a positive impact on the overall health and wellbeing of your workforce. Preventative care means that employees are less likely to be absent and miss long stretches of days. According the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “healthier employees are less likely to call in sick or use vacation time due to illness, and companies that support workplace health have a greater percentage of employees at work every day.”

This tends to translate into more annual income and more financial stability. They also have the peace of mind that they will be cared for if they acquire a serious illness. Having health coverage is especially important for lower paid workers and those making minimum wage. If these individuals get sick, they could definitely encounter difficulties paying for medical bills.

 

Why Have Health Insurance?

Besides the employee benefits, there are three distinct advantages for you the employer. First, it’s common to experience higher productivity among your workforce because employees tend to be in better health and are less likely to have accidents. When workers aren’t encumbered with illness, they’re likely to accomplish more in less time. This ultimately means you get more from employee resources, which can boost your profit margin.

Second, there are some significant tax advantages to offering employer sponsored insurance. Although the maximum small business tax credit was only 35 percent of premiums paid for small business owners in 2013, there is now a maximum tax credit of 50 percent in 2014. That 15 percent spike can really be a big help for employers.

Third, this can serve as a recruiting tool so that you can find the top talent in your industry. Having a quality healthcare plan in place is often a motivating factor for prospective employees and can give you an edge over competitors who lack coverage. If you’re looking to amass a team of professionals and minimize your turnover rate, this is a great way to do it.

 

Average Cost of Health Insurance

While there are numerous factors that determine the cost of health insurance, a 2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey found that “annual premiums for employer sponsored health coverage were $16,351. Workers on average paid $4,565 towards the cost of their coverage.” However, with tax credits and the return on investment you’re likely to see from higher output, that number should diminish considerably.

Like most areas of business, there are pros and cons to health insurance. When you look at the big picture though, it usually makes sense to offer employer sponsored insurance. Not only do you get happy and healthy employees, but also you should be able to do more with available resources and build a stronger company.

 

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ACA

Affects of ACA on Small Businesses vs. Large Businesses

The ACA is a major healthcare reform and the most significant change to the healthcare system since Medicare and Medicaid. One area that’s been affected dramatically is the way that businesses offer health coverage to employees. The primary factor that determines how a company is affected is the size of its workforce. Let’s now take a look at the differences between small businesses vs. large businesses.

 

ACA for Small Business

Small businesses are by no means impacted in the same way that large businesses are. For employers with fewer than 50 employees, it’s their choice whether or not they want to offer coverage. On the other hand, businesses with more than 50 employees are obligated to provide coverage or they may be hit with an employer shared responsibility payment (ESRP). This occurs if one or more employees receive a premium tax credit from the health insurance marketplace.

Businesses with more than 50 workers will be fined $2,000 per employee excluding the first 30 employees when they don’t offer coverage to full-time employees. It’s also important to remember that the hours of several part-time employees can be combined to equal that of a full-time employee. Therefore, this should be taken into consideration when determining the number of full-time employees.

 

ACA Exemptions

A common misconception is that small businesses have to provide health coverage to workers or they will be penalized. This isn’t the case, and any company with fewer than 50 employees isn’t required to offer coverage and will not incur any penalties. However, there are some definite advantages of small business owners offering coverage to workers.

 

Benefits of ACA

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the ACA is the tax credits that employers can get. Prior to 2014, they could only get a tax credit of up to 35 percent of their employees’ contributions. Starting in 2014 and going forth, they can now get up to 50 percent as long as they purchase coverage through the SHOP marketplace. Unlike in the past where business owners were often forced to complete a lot of administrative tasks, the establishment of online healthcare exchanges has simplified things considerably. Consequently, they aren’t required to fill out piles of paperwork and can provide employees with quality health coverage with minimal hassle.

Due to the number of different health insurance plans available through the marketplace, employees are usually able to find the right coverage for the right price. There is a high level of customizability so all of their healthcare needs can be taken care of without being over-insured. Because healthcare providers cannot discriminate against individuals with existing medical conditions, the ACA makes it possible for nearly everyone to get coverage at a reasonable price.

The bottom line is that offering health coverage is simply an option for small businesses and a requirement for large businesses with more than 50 employees. Smaller operations don’t have to deal with penalties, while larger ones may have considerable penalties if they fail to provide coverage. However, with multiple benefits of the ACA, it would still behoove many small business owners to provide health insurance to their employees.

 

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