Regardless of who is in the Oval Office after this month’s elections, portions of President Obama’s healthcare reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will continue to take effect over the next couple of years. “Businesses should not postpone any review of their benefits or insurance offerings hoping this law will be overturned,” says Ron Krupa, managing partner at Track 1 Benefits in Lakewood Ranch. “Waiting will only give them less time to evaluate and implement changes.”
As of 2011, all businesses (no matter the size) are required to include the value of employer and employee contributions for health insurance on each employee’s W-2 form. Other changes for small businesses will depend on the number of employees. Companies with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees will not be required to provide health insurance. The key word, says Krupa, is equivalent—meaning the total hours of part-time employees should be part of calculating the number of full-time employees. If employers with fewer than 25 FTE employees still choose to provide health insurance, they may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35 percent (up to 50 percent starting in 2014) to offset the insurance costs; find out if your business qualifies at irs.gov.
The full effects of the law will begin in 2014. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees will be able to compare plans and prices through state-based Affordable Insurance Exchanges, private health insurance markets that will offer small businesses more options and information. Learn more about the exchanges through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at healthcare.gov.
“Talent is the key economic driver.”
Mark Huey, CEO of the Sarasota Economic Development Corp., at the Suncoast Workforce 2012 Annual Meeting. Huey says workforce skills are at the top of surveys conducted over the last several years when employers are asked about expanding or relocating.