Trade groups offer trade secrets on Affordable Care Act

Mar 01, 2013
Trade groups offer trade secrets on Affordable Care Act

Small business owners who belong to their industry's trade association enjoy a number of membership benefits. Now, some of those organizations also help members make sense of the Affordable Care Act, providing exclusive resources on health care reform and how it affects their particular industry. Check with your own trade association to see what it offers. Here are a few examples:

National Retail Federation

The federation, which represents a variety of retailers, from mom-and-pop grocers to large department stores, offers an on-demand webinar just for members: "Ready, Set - Are You Ready for the Affordable Care Act?" The speaker is Neil Trautwein, vice president and employee benefits policy counsel for the NRF. He explains the key provisions of health care reform and how they apply to retailers and their employees. Members can register at www.nrf.com.

The group also provides a Health Mandate Cost Calculator, available at www.retailmeansjobs.com. The tool calculates the penalties for businesses that don't offer health coverage, have more than 50 full-time employees and have at least one who receives a government subsidy. The penalties increase according to the number of subsidized workers. The calculator also factors in part-time hours as well as penalties for businesses that do offer insurance but still have at least one subsidized employee.

National Restaurant Association

This trade group for restaurateurs created a special website devoted to the Affordable Care Act: http://healthcare.restaurant.org/. The site is brimming with information and resources, including a calculator similar to the NRF's. Also helpful is "10 Steps to Take Now to Prepare for Healthcare Reform," prepared especially for restaurant owners.

The site also provides hypothetical case studies, a Health Care Knowledge Center and information on the NRA's partnership with UnitedHealthcare to offer members a variety of health insurance packages.

American Institute of CPAs

With a membership of nearly 386,000 accountants, the AICPA maintains a dedicated web page on the Affordable Care Act. The "Health Care Reform Resources Center" helps members prepare both as employers and tax advisers. It includes news, information and resources such as a timeline of the act's various tax provisions. It also offers training and development, like the upcoming webcast, "What CPAs Should Know about Fraud and Abuse," scheduled for March 6.

To access the center, visit www.aicpa.org and click on "Research."

American Council of Engineering Companies

The council has organized seminars, webinars and other educational sessions for its membership of 5,000-plus independent engineering firms. ACEC's fall 2012 conference also included a panel of health care and tax experts, who explained the new law's ramifications, said spokesman Alan D. Crockett. "We also have a section on our website devoted to the latest updates regarding the new health care requirements," he said. For more information, visit www.acec.org.

- Teresa Talerico



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