If you own a small business and need health care coverage, for yourself or your employees, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,’ is great news for you.
Affordable health options mean that small business can stay in business, and compete for top talent with large businesses. Small business, the engine of our economy, will finally have access to coverage—with more choices, and lower costs—than ever before.
Small business owners can use the marketplace, or Health Insurance Exchange. The marketplaces, or exchanges, go online in just sixteen days from today, on October 1, 2013, with coverage beginning on January 1, 2014.
Starting January 1, 2014, if you already offer health insurance coverage, you and your employees gain new protections. If you don’t have coverage, you can buy insurance in the marketplace. Best of all, the Health Insurance Marketplace will give you more choice and control over your health coverage. The Marketplace will operate in all states, including here in New Mexico, so no matter where you live you can obtain health insurance for your business and offer coverage.
- SHOP for the best coverage: Small businesses with generally fewer than 50 employees can get insurance for their employees in the Small Business Healthcare Options Program (SHOP). Open enrollment begins October 1, 2013. Find out what you can do to get ready to enroll.
- Save money with employer tax credits: If you have fewer than 25 full-time employees, pay average yearly wages below $50,000 per employee, and pay at least 50% of the cost of health care coverage, you may qualify for a small business health care tax credit.Starting in 2014, the only way to get this credit is if you provide your insurance through SHOP. In 2014 the small business tax credit will be 50% of the amount you pay in premiums (35% for non-profits).
- Covering employees is optional: No businesses are required to provide health insurance to their employees.
- Employer Shared Responsibility payments: If you have at least 50 full-time equivalent employees and don’t offer health insurance that meets certain minimum standards, you may need to make anEmployer Shared Responsibility payment.
- Get the latest information: Visit the Small Businesses page and sign up for email updates.
Learn more about the Affordable Care Act, also called ‘Obamacare’
- www.HealthCare.gov — the health insurance marketplace
- www.GetCoveredAmerica.org — a nonprofit, nonpartisan campaign of Enroll America
HealthReform — a White House website
- www.HHS.gov/HealthCare — a U.S. Health and Human Services website