Many individuals, employees and business owners alike, are still confused as to what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will mean for them. With the January 2014 deadline right around the corner, small businesses need to be prepared and make decisions for the coming changes.
According to the ACA, a small business is defined as one with fewer than 50 full-time employees. Such small businesses will not be required to provide employer-sponsored healthcare. A recent report stated that 97 percent of what Americans generally think of as small businesses already do have fewer than 50 employees, which means that approximately three percent of these businesses will be affected by the ACA regulations.
Small businesses and non-profits that choose to offer employee healthcare, regardless of the law, will be able to utilize certain tax credits to offset the costs of healthcare, if they meet the following conditions:
- 25 or fewer full-time employees
- Cover at least 50 percent of the insurance premium costs for employees
- Each employee earns an average annual salary of less than $50,000
Small businesses that employ between 26 and 49 individuals will not qualify for tax credits. However, businesses that do meet the criteria can receive two consecutive years of tax credits on a sliding scale of up to 35 percent of premiums paid in 2014 and up to 50 percent of premiums paid in 2015.
In comparison, larger businesses with 50 or more employees will be fined if they do not provide employee healthcare and pay for at least 50 percent of each employee’s “minimal essential coverage.”
Small businesses that choose to offer employee healthcare must decide on a plan and how much of the premium will be covered. If spouses and families are not included in an employee’s plan, those dependents will need to purchase individual policies from the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Surveys have reported that 85 percent of individuals would continue to work for their employer even without employer-sponsored health insurance; however, 60 percent of those individuals would expect a pay raise to compensate for not receiving benefits. Small businesses should consider this information when making decisions about employee benefits.
Learn more about what you can do for your employees. Call Integrity Network Insurance at (512) 989-6006 for more information on Round Rock employee benefits.