2014 is just around the corner and for many small business owners, the Affordable Care Act is a big topic of discussion. Although the Affordable Care Act will take effect in just over a month’s time, many questions continue to rise in regards to what exactly the healthcare reform means for us – as individuals as well as employers. To clear up some of the confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act, we have broken down some of the most common questions to answer how each point will apply to you specifically.
- Do I have to purchase health insurance for myself? If you work for yourself and are not covered under Medicaid, Medicare, your own policy or your spouse’s medical coverage, then you will most likely be required to purchase health insurance for yourself or face paying a penalty; however, there is one exception to this rule. If you are unable to find health coverage that costs less than 8% of your previous year’s income, you may be exempt from this mandate.
- Where can I purchase health insurance? All states will be operating an online marketplace known as an insurance exchange that will be available to individuals and small businesses with up to 100 employees. If for some reason a state falls short on this requirement, an insurance exchange will be provided by the federal government.
- Do I need to provide health insurance for all of my employees? The Affordable Care Act only applies to businesses with 50 or more employees who work a minimum of 30 hours per week in 2014. If your business does not meet this threshold, you will not be required to provide health coverage.
- What will happen if I don’t purchase insurance for myself or provide it for my employees? If you are not exempt from the requirements and choose to not purchase health insurance for yourself, you will risk facing a penalty. This fine will begin at $95 in 2014, increase to $325 in 2015, $695 in 2016, and will continue to rise with inflation over the following years. The calculations become more complex if you employ more than 50 employees, but they will never be greater than the average cost of the lowest level of insurance coverage policy required by law.
- What if I cannot afford health insurance? If you own a small business with fewer than 25 employees who earn $50,000 per year and you pay at least half of all employees’ coverage, you will be eligible for a tax credit. The credit will range from as much as 35% of insurance costs in 2013 up to as much as 50% in 2014.
As with many new laws, the Affordable Care Act will be much easier to digest once it officially goes into effect. Although these key points have been presented in a rather cut-and-dry fashion, the experts at Springborn Staffing understand that this is a hefty and complicated topic to thoroughly understand. If you have additional questions on how the ACA will affect your small business in Bangor, Maine, contact the professionals at Springborn Staffing today