Small Business Affordable Care Act “Need to Know”
If you are an employer with 1-99 employees, 2016 brought important changes to the health insurance market place you need to know about. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as “Obamacare”) some small employers are now subject to new employer responsibilities, but you also have access to tax credits to help you meet those requirements.
Employers with fewer than 50 full time employees are exempt from the requirement to offer health insurance. However, if your business does offer health insurance benefits, it must still meet the requirements for coverage under the ACA. If your employee count is close to 50 or you have a number of part time employees, you need to know how those employees are counted together to determine how many full time equivalent (FTE) employees you have. If the FTE is 50 or more, you are no longer exempt from offering health insurance coverage. For examples of ALE determination calculations and more information see: https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/employers/employer-shared-responsibility-provisions
Beginning in 2016, ACA’s employer mandate is now effective for employers with 50-99 FTE employees. If you do not offer health insurance coverage to your employees, you will likely have to pay a penalty. These payments can be substantial. Be sure you know what you have to provide to avoid these costly penalties.
The good news is that federal tax credits are available to certain small businesses to help pay for affordable coverage that meets the ACA requirements. The tax credits can go up to 50% of the premium expenses and are available for up to two years.
How do you find out what you need to know about these important ACA provisions for your small business? You can research information online at the IRS website. There is a section specifically about the tax credit that provides some great information. If you prefer to talk to a person to get your questions answered, KeenanDirect can help you understand what you need to do. And we can assist you with obtaining the small business health insurance coverage if you need, or decide, to offer it to your employees. Our assistance won’t cost you anything and we can get your questions answered in a short phone call.
About Sam Cole
Sam Cole serves as Vice President of KeenanDirect. He has more than two decades of experience in the California insurance market. He is a Lifetime qualified member of the National Association of Health Underwriter’s (NAHU) Leading Producers Round Table.