Affordable Care Act 101: Eight of the Most Puzzling Questions Answered

    [This week’s guest post was written by Brionna Kennedy.]

    When President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010, many business owners worried about the financial impact of the new law. The 900 page law is confusing, and many questions remain unanswered. If you have questions about how the Affordable Care Act will affect your business, click here for more information.

    I have 15 employees at my business. Can I get a tax credit if I offer them health insurance?

    If your business employs 25 people or less and their average salary is less than $50,000, you may be eligible for a tax credit to offset your cost of offering them health insurance.

    I own a franchise of a major fast food chain, but I only employ two full-time workers. Do I have to provide insurance for them under the ACA?

    If your franchise employs 50 full-time workers, then you must pFAQ, rovide employees with health insurance. Franchise owners with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the mandate.

    What happens if I employ 50 workers and I don’t offer health insurance?

    If you do not offer health insurance, you will be assessed an annual fee of $2,000 per employee if one full-time employee signs up through a health care exchange. This penalty excludes the first 30 employees.

    How does the Affordable Care Act define “unaffordable” or “inadequate” health insurance?

    Unaffordable health care is a health insurance plan that costs more than 9.5 percent of the employee’s annual salary. Inadequate health care is defined as an insurance plan that does not cover at least 60 percent of costs.

    Is the 9.5 percent of income calculated differently for individuals and families?

    The 9.5 percent is calculated based on individual rates even if the employee is on a family plan.

    What do I have to tell my employees about the Affordable Care Act?

    You are required to provide all employees with contact information for your state’s exchange. You must notify employees if your health coverage is unaffordable or inadequate.

    I am self-employed but I occasionally hire an independent contractor. Do I have to provide the independent contractor with health insurance?

    No, but you will be required to purchase insurance for yourself under the individual mandate.

    I am self-employed, and I purchased insurance back in 2009. Do I have to buy insurance on the exchange?

    If you bought insurance before March 23, 2010, your plan may be grandfathered in. Be aware that these plans do not offer the benefits of plans that fall under the provisions of the ACA.

    With the health care exchanges opening on October 1, many business owners may be worried about the many provisions of the Affordable Care Act. You don’t have to read the entire 900 page document to find the information you need.

    Brionna Kennedy is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington and moving to Oregon for college. She enjoys writing about fashion and business—but any subject will do, as she loves learning about new topics. When she isn’t writing, she lives for the outdoors. Oregon has been the perfect setting to indulge her love of kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking.

      Posted in Employees, Tools for Small Business Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      *