How To Buy Health Insurance For Your Small Business

Before being biased against the Affordable Care Act, give yourself a chance to see what it can do for you and your small business and your ability to attract better employees.

Firstly, The Affordable Care Act does not require employers to provide health insurance for their workers.  To learn more, go to this site.

However, you may attract higher-caliber employees if you offer health insurance.  Also, you might be surprised about price incentives offered now and in the near future for small businesses to provide health coverage to their employees.

Rainbow Valley

Rainbow Valley (Photo credit: rwangsa)

Contact your State Department of Insurance to find out the rules in your state.

Definition of a Small Business

Your business is generally considered small if you have no more than 50 employees.  States vary on whether you can count yourself if you have no other employees.

Tax Credits

If you provide health insurance for your employees, have no more than 25 employees, and pay average annual salaries below $50K, you might be able to receive a small business tax credit of up to 35% (up to 25% for non-profits).

In 2014, the small business tax credit goes up to 50% (35% for non-profits).

JogFalls Rainbow

JogFalls Rainbow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rules That Protect You

  • Health insurance companies cannot turn your small business down based on the health status of your workers or their family members.
  • In addition, the insurance company is required to accept all the people in your group, including workers or family members with health conditions.
  • The health insurance companies have to give you the same plan offerings they make available to other companies as well (in your state).

More Alternatives and Opportunities

  • By 2014, small businesses with under 100 workers will have the Affordable Insurance Exchange available to them.  This will be a transparent, competitive marketplace where small businesses and individuals can buy insurance with better rates and coverage than before.
  • This will give small businesses the power larger businesses enjoy in terms of having better choices and lower prices.
  • Businesses will have protection from being over-charged by insurance companies and from having their coverage limited in ways it is now.
  • Administrative costs will be lowered for small businesses because they will be able to pool together.

    IMG_7268b_triple_rainbow

    IMG_7268b_triple_rainbow (Photo credit: oaklandEarthGirl)

  • There will be no more “insurance rating” based on employees’ health status or gender, so premiums will be lowered for small businesses.  Women won’t routinely be charged higher rates anymore.
  • Tax credits for small businesses and new competition due to the Affordable Insurance Exchanges will also keep insurance costs down.
  • Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to cancel your insurance plan if one of your employees gets sick.
  • Employers do not have to report the cost of insurance on the employee W-2s in 2011.  The reporting is optional.
English: Rainbow.

English: Rainbow. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Related Links:

http://www.healthcare.gov/using-insurance/employers/small-business/index.html

For California: http://healthcoverageguide.org/

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/36-buying-a-small-business-health-care-plan.html

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