As a business owner, you've probably been hearing a lot of buzz about employer mandates. Maybe you're still wondering what it is and whether it applies to you. Well that depends on how many full time or full time equivalent employees you have. See below for a summary of the requirements and when they phase in.
Beginning in 2015, employers with more than 100 full-time employees must offer medical coverage that is "affordable" and provides minimum value to full-time employees and their children up to age 26 or face penalties.
The phase in for employers with 50-100 full-time employees is 2016.
All businesses, whether big or small, are required to notify employees about the availability of state health insurance exchanges and how to access information on available premium subsidies. There's no penalty under the law for failing to provide notice.
Employers must report aggregate cost of employer-sponsored coverage on employees' W-2 forms although this amount is not taxable to the employee.
Business owners have new rights under the law. Insurance providers can't turn down your company based on your employees' health status, including preexisting conditions. Nor can they charge higher premiums for women or employees with high medical costs. If you provide medical insurance to your employees there are new requirements, such as waiting periods, coverage limits and preexisting conditions, so make sure that your health plan is a "Qualified Health Plan".
For small businesses, defined as less than 50 full time employees, there is no requirement to offer medical coverage. The health care law is designed to encourage, rather than require, small businesses to offer health insurance plans to their employees.
Small businesses with less than 25 full time employees may qualify for the "small business health care tax credit." The credit is available to businesses with employees whose average annual wages are less than 50,000. You must also pay at least 50% of your employee's health insurance premiums. If your business qualifies, beginning in 2014, the credit could cover up to 50% of your contribution toward your employee's insurance.
We can help you determine if you are eligible for a tax credit. Contact us to set up a consultation.