Posted by: Julie Mierau | May 6, 2010

What we know about health care reform


While the media, the public and even Congress continue to discover all the details about the recently passed health care reform bill, we can share a few things that we know will affect small business owners. (The information shared here originated from The Harry A. Koch Co.)

Companies that employ fewer than 50 workers are not required to offer health insurance, and they will not be penalized if they do not do so. Companies with 25 or fewer employees, with an average wage of up to $40,000, can qualify for tax credits to help purchase insurance. The tax credits this year will be up to 35 percent of the premiums. The credits will increase to 50 percent in 2014.

Companies that employ more than 50 workers will be fined if they do not offer affordable insurance. The penalty will be based on the number of full-time employees.

Insurers will face tough new regulations that affect employer-sponsored group insurance plans. Insurers will not be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions or drop coverage if an individual gets sick. Further, they will be limited in the amount they can vary premiums based on age or health status.

While the reconcilitation bill continues to be debated, we know there will be additional modifications and adjustments to these requirements. We will do our best to keep you posted on how these changes affect small business owners.

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