Reform school: 3 things to know about health care reform
The Affordable Care Act is overwhelming, and many of the provisions that affect business owners are just around the corner. Here are three tips for healthy planning:
Did I miss out on the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit?
Did you forget to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit between 2010 and 2012? It’s not too late. You can retroactively earn it by filing an amended tax return and Form 8941 (include the amount of credit as part of general business credits).
Effective in 2010 under the Affordable Care Act, the credit is available for small businesses (fewer than 25 employees, with average wages under $50,000) that pay at least 50 percent of health insurance coverage for employees. They can receive the credit for two consecutive tax years. Starting in 2014, the maximum credit will increase from 35 percent of paid premiums to 50 percent.
How do I make sense of the SHOP exchange for small businesses?
The Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP marketplace, opened on Oct. 1 to help business owners find affordable health insurance for their companies. Currently, business owners can preview plans and then mail in a paper application for coverage. In November, they will be able to apply online. Here are some helpful links from the SHOP site:
- Preview plans and prices for medical and dental coverage in your state.
- Create an account on the SHOP marketplace.
- How do I choose coverage that’s right for my business?
- How do I apply for Marketplace coverage?
Am I required to provide health insurance for employees?
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not required to offer health insurance. (How do I calculate the number of employees?) Larger employers face penalties for not offering affordable health insurance: