Facts Small Business Owners Should Know About the Affordable Healthcare Act
By: Lauren Rockwell, marketing staff at Liberty Capital Group
As most small business owners know, the new Affordable Healthcare Act put in place by President Obama, will affect businesses of every size, but small businesses may especially feel the effects. Under the recent Healthcare Act, beginning in 2014, small business owners with at least 50 full-time employees that do not offer health coverage to their employees will be required to do so.
Fact #1-Affordable Insurance Exchange
One of the major perks of the Healthcare Act is the Affordable Insurance Exchange. The US Government’s Health Care website describes the Affordable Insurance Exchange as “The new transparent and competitive insurance marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy affordable and qualified health benefit plans.” This so called “Insurance Marketplace” will be available to businesses as well as individuals. This makes it easy for everyone to acquire insurance. Enrollment for this program begins in October 2013.
Fact #2- Essential Health Benefits and Wellness Programs
The Affordable Healthcare Act ensures that Healthcare plans offered in the individual and small business markets, both inside and outside of the health insurance Marketplace, offer several other services, known as essential health benefits. Essential health benefits must include services within several categories, among them being, emergency services; maternity and newborn care, & prescription drug coverage. (www.Healthcare.gov) Along with these health benefits, the Affordable Healthcare Act creates several incentives that encourage employers to implement Wellness Programs that support healthier workplaces and encourage employees to live healthy lifestyles.
Fact #3- Premium Tax Credits
In October, when enrollment in the health insurance Marketplace begins, business owners and individuals may be eligible for a tax credit which will reduce the amount paid for monthly premium. This tax credit can be used right away instead of waiting until tax season to receive the additional money. The Government hopes that these tax credits will help make required health coverage more affordable.