The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has many business owners wondering what the impact will be on their organizations and their bottom lines in 2014. Employer mandated health care means organizations with 50 or more employees will face fines if they don’t provide health benefits to employees. What about companies with fewer than 50 people? Will health care for the masses result in higher premiums for businesses and individuals?
Several provisions of the ACA could have a major effect on small businesses, their employees and their families. In “Focus on Health Reform,” the Kaiser Family Foundation points out that small businesses, typically, are less likely to provide health insurance coverage to employees. While 95% of companies with 101 workers offer health coverage, just 57% of small business with fewer than 50 employees provide health plans to employees.
Fortunately, the ACA allows small business that already have a group health plan in place to keep the existing health coverage without any additional ACA changes. This means business owners won’t have to cover preventive services without cost sharing, for example.
But some small businesses that have not provided health plans will face changes starting in 2014. One of the most sweeping changes is the creation of new insurance exchanges or health insurance marketplaces.
Some states, like Minnesota, will create a state-run health insurance marketplace. The online marketplace enables businesses to search for, compare and purchase a health insurance plan that fits the organization. The exchange is designed to offer small employers an easy way to compare and purchase plans. The federal government will provide an exchange to those states that don’t create their own. It’s estimated that nearly three million small business employees will get coverage through the health exchanges in 2014. By 2017, nearly four million employees will receive their coverage through these marketplaces.
There are, of course, penalties for not providing affordable health insurance that small businesses need to know about. For businesses with more than 50 employees, penalties will be assessed if they don’t provide affordable health care to employees. The fine is $3,000 per employee for businesses with more than 50 people. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees are exempt from the penalty.
On the other hand, tax credits of up to 50% will be available for business with 25 or fewer full-time employees that choose to purchase health coverage. Additional grants for wellness programs designed to enhance employee health are also available. So while small businesses start thinking about health plans for next fiscal year, there are many budget considerations to make.
Field Nation have partnered with several insurance companies to enable independent contractors to purchase individual health coverage at group rates. It’s just one of the many benefits of using Field Nation that helps some of the smallest independent operators take care of their business and employees in a cost-effective way.
This exclusive program is not available on the open market and offers:
· Major Medical, Dental, Vision, Critical illness/cancer and Term Life
· Preferred rates for Field Nation contractors.
· No medical questions or physical exams (medical coverage requires underwriting).
· Easy enrollment and application process for all benefits through one website
One of Field Nation’s primary focuses is to help its members to build, grow and manage their business and make their lives a little easier. This exclusive Health Benefits program is designed to achieve that goal.
For more information about Field Nation Insurance Programs, go to https://fieldnation.com/insurance/
Blog written by Chuck Grothaus