Obamacare for $STATE Small Businesses
Does Obamacare require you, as a business owner, to provide health insurance to your employees? Not unless you have at least 50 full-time-equivalent (FTE) employees. (A full-time employee is someone who works an average of 30 hours per week, or at least 130 hours per month.)
Still, even if you are not required to provide insurance, there are some things you need to know about Obamacare:
You may be legally required to notify your employees about Obamacare. Whether or not you choose to provide insurance, if your business is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, you must notify all new hires about Obamacare’s basic provisions.
You can buy health insurance for your employees using the small business marketplace. Your state may have its own online small business marketplace, called the SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) or it may use Healthcare.gov. Unfortunately, at healthcare.gov, online enrolllment in SHOP plans will not be available until November 2014.
Your business may qualify for a tax credit. If you have fewer than 25 FTEs and buy employee insurance through the SHOP, you may qualify for the “small business health care tax credit.” If your business qualifies, the credit could cover up to 50% of your contribution toward your employees' insurance -- 35% for nonprofits.
You have rights under the law. Insurance providers can’t turn down your company based on your employees’ health, including pre-existing conditions. Nor can they charge more for women or employees with high medical costs. (These protections don’t apply to grandfathered plans -- those created before March 23, 2010 that meet certain additional requirements.)
If you use SHOP, you must offer coverage to all full-time employees. That means people who work an average of 30 or more hours per week or 130 hours per month. This calculation does not include employees covered by another plan, such as Medicare, Medicaid, or the military, but does include full-time workers with private plans.
For more information and resources, select your state, below.