Still reeling from the aftereffects of recession, small business owners across the country are trying to come to terms with how Obamacare will impact their way of doing business. Often faced with the burden of under-capitalization, many small business owners are fighting off bankruptcy hand and fist on a monthly basis and view Obamacare as an unwanted burden. Understanding how Obamacare will impact you as a small business owner is the best way to ensure that you react appropriately.
Some small business owners may not be effected
The most significant misconception a small business owner might be under is that Obamacare will force all businesses to provide health insurance to full-time employees or face a penalty. In fact, Obamacare does not force any business to provide healthcare to any employee, full or part time. Additionally, if your business employs 50 or fewer full time workers, the Employer Responsibility potion of the act which might penalize a company for failing to provide a full-time worker with health insurance does not apply. Therefore, small business owners unable to provide workers with health insurance have no cause for concern in this area.
Significant Tax breaks available in some cases
Many small business owners however will choose to offer health care coverage to their employees. For these owners, Obamacare can provide a tax credit provided a few simple rules are met. If your small business provides health care, your average employee’s annual wage is less than $50,000, and you employ no more than 25 people, you may be able to claim up to 35% of your costs of providing insurance as a tax credit. The good news is this rate increases to 50% in 2014.
In addition to these financial benefits, small businesses are afforded even greater protection under the new laws. For example, your company of no greater than 50 employees is guaranteed health coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions. No employee or family member will have to face the fear of being denied insurance regardless of their past history or current needs. Furthermore, not only can your employees and their families not be denied coverage, your group must also be provided access to the same plans as any other applicant. Also, if you don’t like the coverage you have, your group is offered the same protection which switching plans.
If your small business is larger than 50 employees but smaller than 100, you may still have options available to you that lower your overall cost of providing insurance. By participating in the new insurance marketplace that will become available in 2014, small businesses can join together to gain a higher level of bargaining power that should allow small business owners to negotiate better coverage at lower rates many cases.
Small business owners need to research their options
If you are a small business owner, the most important thing you can do for the sake of you and your business is educate yourself about the options that you have available as Obamacare is rolled out. Plenty of great information is available at HealthCare.gov and many other places on the internet. You may be surprised what you find.
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About the Author: Berwick Himes Insurance Tucson provides insurance for all types of small business needs. Berwick Himes experienced insurance experts can answer all of your questions related to health care reform. Berwick represents many well known insurance carriers and can find the perfect fit for your needs.