http://www.sba.gov/community/blog/rss/20371/feed en Don’t Delay: If You’re Self-Employed, Sign Up for Quality, Affordable Health Insurance Coverage Today For Coverage in 2014 http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/don%E2%80%99t-delay-if-you%E2%80%99re-self-employed-sign-quality-affordable-health-insurance-coverage-today-coverage-2014 <p>The Affordable Care Act&nbsp;provides comprehensive health insurance reforms that ensure Americans have access to quality, affordable health care coverage.&nbsp; Over the past five months, we have seen over five million Americans take advantage of new coverage options provided by federal and state-based health insurance Marketplaces, along with more than three million young adults who because of the new law are able to stay on their parents plan until they turn 26, and the millions more who are able to gain coverage through CHIP and Medicaid.&nbsp; With the open enrollment period for 2014 entering its final days, now is the time for self-employed business owners to sign up for a plan.</p> <p>Enrolling now ensures you won&rsquo;t have to wait until next year to get covered and provides the security and peace of mind that comes with knowing that once you are signed up, no one can take away your coverage if you get sick.&nbsp; Between now and March 31, self-employed individuals can purchase private insurance coverage from a range of options, and depending on income, could potentially quality for additional subsidies like tax credits or cost-sharing benefits through the Marketplace.&nbsp; And for 6 out of 10 uninsured Americans, they can get covered for under $100 per month.</p> <p>Here are the important dates self-employed business owners need to know:</p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">For self-employed small business owners, open enrollment for 2014 coverage ends March 31, 2014.&nbsp; The exception is if you have a qualifying life event that provides you with a special enrollment period such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of a job.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">The next open enrollment period won&rsquo;t be until November of 2014 for coverage beginning January 1, 2015.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">You can apply for Medicaid or CHIP at any time of the year.</span></li> </ul> <p>In the past, small business owners have paid as much as 18% more for health care coverage than larger companies.&nbsp; The Affordable Care Act helps level the playing field, slows cost growth, and with consumer protections like insurance rate reviews and a ban on denying coverage for preexisting conditions in place, provides greater certainty that small business owners can access the coverage they need, when they need it.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Additionally, the Affordable Care Act makes it easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to go out on their own instead of staying stuck in a current job because of &quot;job lock&rdquo; or because of the lack of access to affordable insurance options outside of their current employment.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>So don&rsquo;t delay.&nbsp; Join the more than five million Americans who have already signed up for a plan.</p> <p>You can sign up 24 hours a day, 7-days a week at <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov">HealthCare.gov</a> or in Spanish at <a href="https://www.cuidadodesalud.gov/es/">CuidadoDeSalud.gov</a>.&nbsp; You can call 1-800-318-2596, any time, any hour, and in any of 150 languages.&nbsp; And you can even get in-person help in your own community &ndash; in English or Spanish -- (just visit<a href="https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/"> localhelp.healthcare.gov </a>and punch in your zip code).</p> <p>For more information about other provisions affecting self-employed business owners under the Affordable Care Act, go to <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/self-employed">sba.gov/healthcare</a>.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/don%E2%80%99t-delay-if-you%E2%80%99re-self-employed-sign-quality-affordable-health-insurance-coverage-today-coverage-2014#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/809191 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Mon, 24 Mar 2014 19:51:20 +0000 Marianne Markowitz 809191 at http://www.sba.gov A Direct New Path to SHOP Marketplace Coverage http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/direct-new-path-shop-marketplace-coverage <p><strong>Note: </strong>This blog is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and first appeared on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2013/11/direct-new-path-to-shop-marketplace.html">HHS.gov/HealthCare</a>&nbsp;on November 27.</p> <div> In 2014--a few short weeks away--the Affordable Care Act will take steps to remove key barriers that small employers have traditionally faced when offering health insurance to their employees.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Together, new insurance reforms and the Small Business Health Options Program, the SHOP, will help curb premium growth, and spur competition based on price and quality.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The Affordable Care Act does not require small employers with fewer than 50 full-time or full-time-equivalent employees to offer health coverage to their workers. &nbsp;But the ACA does provide small employers with access to a SHOP Marketplace in every state, offering coverage through qualified health plans that may take effect as early as January 1, 2014.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The SHOP Marketplace helps small businesses compare different plans, to find a plan that fits their budget and meets the needs of their business and employees. &nbsp;And, it will provide many small businesses access to an expanded Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, which in tax years beginning in 2014 will be worth up to 50 percent of employer-paid premium costs, to help them afford coverage for their employees and dependents.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Since it first became available in 2010, the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit has been worth up to 35 percent of employer-paid premium costs, and has provided more than $1 billion in tax credits.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> For tax years beginning in 2014, the credit will be available only for coverage purchased through the SHOP Marketplace. &nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Employers can offer coverage through the SHOP Marketplace at any time during the year. If you want your employees&rsquo; coverage to begin on January 1, 2014, the current deadline is December 15. &nbsp;In the Federally-facilitated SHOP, we intend to extend this enrollment deadline to December 23.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong>How to offer your employees coverage through the Federally-facilitated SHOP Marketplace in 2014&nbsp;</strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> For small businesses in states with a SHOP Marketplace that&rsquo;s run by the federal government, we are making changes to make sure that you can take advantage of SHOP coverage and the tax credit as soon as &nbsp;possible. Specifically, for 2014, small employers will enroll their employees in coverage through an agent, broker, or insurer that offers a certified SHOP plan and has agreed to conduct enrollment according to HHS standards.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> This process, called &ldquo;direct enrollment,&rdquo; is similar to how most small employers get insurance today. You don&rsquo;t need to apply for SHOP eligibility before enrolling, or to use HealthCare.gov, unless you&rsquo;d like to see information on your plan options, including which insurance companies offer SHOP Qualified Health Plans in your area.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The agent, broker, or insurer will enroll your employees, and the SHOP Marketplace will review your application and can determine later whether your business and employees are eligible for SHOP coverage. You don&rsquo;t need to wait for the SHOP to determine your eligibility, because it doesn&rsquo;t affect your ability to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan, like the ones the SHOP offers. Even if the SHOP later determines that you&rsquo;re not eligible to enroll through the SHOP, you and your employees may remain enrolled in your chosen plan in the small group market.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The main reason for you to get the SHOP eligibility determination in 2014, is to allow you, to claim the expanded the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit at the end of your tax year&mdash;as long as you also meet all the other requirements for the tax credit.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> If you don&rsquo;t think you qualify for the tax credit, you don&rsquo;t need to apply for SHOP eligibility. &nbsp;You also have the option to wait until you&rsquo;ve received an official notice of eligibility from the SHOP Marketplace before enrolling your employees in a SHOP Plan.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Your agent, broker, or insurer can help you fill out a paper application and send it in to the SHOP Marketplace, or you can mail the application in yourself, if you want. &nbsp;The SHOP Marketplace will notify you about eligibility by phone or e-mail and by regular mail if you request it.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> When you use direct enrollment, you can still go on HealthCare.gov to get information about plans available in your area and help you find the best fit for your company and employees. You can also download a paper application for SHOP eligibility there. &nbsp;Lastly, you can get help through the toll-free SHOP Employer Call Center at 1-800-706-7893 (TTY: 1-800-706-7915).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> This change to &ldquo;direct enrollment&rdquo; in states with a Federally-facilitated SHOP Marketplace won&rsquo;t affect the process for getting SHOP coverage in states running their own SHOP Marketplace.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong>What else you need to know</strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> If you want your employees&rsquo; coverage to begin on January 1, the current enrollment deadline is December 15. &nbsp;In the Federally-facilitated SHOP, we intend to extend this deadline to December 23.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> But, you can offer coverage through the SHOP Marketplace at any time during the year. If your employee enrollments are submitted between the 1st and 15th day of the month, your group coverage begins the first day of the next month. &nbsp;For example, if your employee enrollments are submitted on February 10, 2014, your group coverage begins March 1, 2014. For enrollments submitted after the 15th of the month, coverage begins the second following month. So, if employee enrollments are submitted on February 18, your group coverage will begin on April 1.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Be sure to check HealthCare.gov in coming months for new tools and information. &nbsp;This winter you will be able to go online and enter the ages of your employees to get more precise premium information, and compare plans.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In addition, we anticipate that small employers throughout the country will have online access to an online SHOP Marketplace by November 2014. In addition, for the first time ever, small employers in all 50 States and the District of Columbia will be able to offer their employees a choice of plans from multiple issuers while making a single monthly payment, for coverage taking effect on or after January 1, 2015.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> For more information on the SHOP Marketplace, visit HealthCare.gov or call the SHOP Employer Call Center at <strong>1-800-706-7893 </strong>(TTY: 1-800-706-7915), Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST.&nbsp;</div> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/direct-new-path-shop-marketplace-coverage#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/769221 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Wed, 27 Nov 2013 19:18:45 +0000 ngoriel 769221 at http://www.sba.gov The Affordable Care Act in Your Neighborhood http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/affordable-care-act-your-neighborhood <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Note: </strong>This blog first appeared at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2013/11/in-person-assisters.html" style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;">HealthCare.gov</a>&nbsp;on November 20.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">While we continue to improve HealthCare.gov, it&rsquo;s important to remember that there are other ways to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace. One way is to&nbsp;</span><a href="https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-weight: bold; color: rgb(106, 42, 93) !important;" target="_blank">find help in your local community.</a><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;You can get assistance in a number of different ways: through trained navigators, in-person assistance personnel, or through certified application counselors. &nbsp;</span></span></span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">To date, more than 19,000 assisters have been trained by the Centers for Medicare &amp; Medicaid Services. We estimate that, since October 1<sup style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">st</sup>, they&rsquo;ve reached over 450,000 consumers.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Our navigator, in-person assister, and certified application counselor programs are critical tools to provide consumers with in-person help. Each assister undergoes&nbsp;a rigorous training process, to include privacy training, and is tested to ensure they&rsquo;re prepared to help you enroll in the Marketplace.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Assisters are already having a tremendous impact helping folks enroll all across the country. In Oklahoma, Little Dixie Community Action Agency&rsquo;s staff of 65 trained navigators operates in 80% of the state&rsquo;s counties. The work is an extension of the agency&rsquo;s mission to serve lower income families.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Chad Austin, Little Dixie&rsquo;s Project Coordinator, told us that, once consumers get the right information from assisters, they see the advantage to their &ldquo;bottom line&mdash;costs.&rdquo; Chad has first-hand experience with the benefits of the assister programs. The first person he helped through the entire application process was someone he helped on his own time during off hours at home.&nbsp;Who was this important first client? Chad&rsquo;s wife.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Community health centers are&nbsp;also&nbsp;playing a crucial role in the enrollment process. There are trained enrollment assisters at nearly every community health center in the country. Community health centers already treat more than 21 million Americans each year, and, as more uninsured Americans enter the health insurance market for the first time, they will continue to play a crucial role in delivering care.&nbsp;&nbsp;<b style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;</b></span></span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 300 new community health center sites are being built, and nearly 600 clinics are being renovated.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Finally, in some metropolitan areas, there are trained Enrollment Assistance Teams and Enrollment Assistance Centers staffed by trained personnel who are available to help people with the enrollment process.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Together, in-person assisters and community health centers are working to educate Americans about the choices they have in the new Health Insurance Marketplace, many of whom will have health insurance for the first time.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><b style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Start getting covered in your community by visiting&nbsp;</b><a href="https://webmail.hhs.gov/owa/UrlBlockedError.aspx" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-weight: bold; color: rgb(106, 42, 93) !important;" target="_blank">LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov</a><b style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;today.</b></span></span></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/affordable-care-act-your-neighborhood#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/764451 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Wed, 20 Nov 2013 21:23:25 +0000 ngoriel 764451 at http://www.sba.gov November & December Dates for the Affordable Care Act 101 Webinars http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/november-december-dates-affordable-care-act-101-webinars <p>With new health insurance marketplaces open, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority are excited to announce the next set of dates for our free Affordable Care Act 101 weekly webinars. Each week, small business owners can learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act and how they can enroll in small business health insurance marketplaces. Other topics discussed include insurance reforms, the small business health care tax credit, and employer shared responsibility provisions. SBA representatives help small business owners understand the facts of the Affordable Care Act so they can make informed decisions about providing health insurance for their employees.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">A question and answer period will follow the presentation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The Affordable Care Act 101 takes place on Thursdays from now through the end of the year. &nbsp;Below are the registration links for upcoming presentations.</span></p> <ul> <li> Thursday, November 7 at 2:00 PM ET: &nbsp;<a href="https://cc.readytalk.com/r/2o0l4bxuhthj&amp;eom">Click to Register</a></li> <li> Thursday, November 14 at 2:00 PM ET: <a href="https://cc.readytalk.com/r/qxwusv0mb76n&amp;eom">Click to Register</a></li> <li> Thursday, November 21 at 2:00 PM ET: <a href="https://cc.readytalk.com/r/1fex846x69j3&amp;eom">Click to Register</a></li> <li> Thursday, December 5 at 2:00 PM ET: <a href="https://cc.readytalk.com/r/rr1ezmzl5uvd&amp;eom">Click to Register</a></li> <li> Thursday, December 12 at 2:00 PM ET: &nbsp;<a href="https://cc.readytalk.com/r/wp3femb5nlsc&amp;eom">Click to Register</a></li> <li> Thursday, December 19 at 2:00 PM ET: <a href="https://cc.readytalk.com/r/wuip40ozbyf5&amp;eom">Click to Register</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/november-december-dates-affordable-care-act-101-webinars#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/756940 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Wed, 06 Nov 2013 01:18:53 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 756940 at http://www.sba.gov Affordable Care Act: Clearing up the Facts http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/affordable-care-act-clearing-facts <p><strong>Note: </strong>This blog is by&nbsp;Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services and first appeared at <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2013/10/clearing-up-the-facts.html">HHS.gov/healthcare </a>on October 30. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">There has been a lot of confusion about some recent notices to consumers from insurance companies that sell coverage in the individual insurance market, and I&rsquo;d like to clear up the facts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Today, more than 3 out of every 4 Americans get insurance from an employer, Medicare, Medicaid, or the Veterans Benefits Administration.&nbsp; Americans who purchase insurance on their own, however, generally buy coverage in the individual insurance market.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Before the Affordable Care Act, coverage in the individual market often was unaffordable, had high co-pays or deductibles, or lacked basic benefits like maternity care, mental health services, and prescription drug coverage.&nbsp; These plans also had high turnover rates, and often were not renewed at the end of a plan year.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><a href="http://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/update-on-individual-health-insurance.pdf" style="font-size: 12px;" target="_blank"><strong>One study</strong></a><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;showed that more than half of enrollees in the individual market left their plan within a year.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The health care law is creating new protections for people in the individual market, as well as strengthening employer-based coverage.&nbsp; In the Health Insurance Marketplace, consumers will no longer be charged more because of gender or a pre-existing condition, recommended preventive services will be covered with no additional out of pocket cost, there will be caps on out of pocket costs, and plans will have to offer a basic package of&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/what-does-marketplace-health-insurance-cover/" style="font-size: 12px;" target="_blank"><strong>10 categories of essential health benefits</strong></a><span style="font-size: 12px;">. &nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Some insurance companies that sell products in the individual market are making changes to their plans.&nbsp; Plans that were in place before the Affordable Care Act passed, and that essentially have not changed - that is benefits have not been cut or additional costs imposed on consumers - are exempt or &ldquo;grandfathered&rdquo; out of these basic requirements that ensure quality coverage.&nbsp; Those grandfathered plans can stay the same.&nbsp; Nothing has changed this fact, and that coverage can continue into 2014, so long as both the insurance company and the consumer agree that it will continue.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Some of less than 5 percent of Americans who currently get insurance on the individual insurance market have recently received notices from their insurance companies suggesting their plans may no longer exist.&nbsp; These Americans have a choice &ndash; they can choose a plan being offered by their insurer, or they can shop for coverage in the Marketplace.&nbsp; As insurers have made clear &ndash; they aren&rsquo;t dropping consumers; they&rsquo;re improving their coverage options, often offering plans that are more affordable.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Today, consumers have a choice of an average of 53 qualified health plans in the states where the federal government runs the Marketplace, including those in which it does so in partnership with states.&nbsp; Nearly all consumers live in states with average premiums below earlier estimates.&nbsp; Moreover, half of the people in the individual market today qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums when signing up for coverage through the Marketplace.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">While the product is good, there is no denying the online experience on HealthCare.gov must be improved.&nbsp;&nbsp; We will not stop improving the site until every American that wants it has access to quality, affordable coverage.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Importantly, while the team is improving the site, we have opened up new pathways for consumers to apply for coverage through the Marketplace.&nbsp; There are&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2013/10/marketplace-four-ways-to-apply.html" style="font-size: 12px;" target="_blank"><strong>four basic ways to apply for coverage</strong></a><span style="font-size: 12px;">.&nbsp; Sign up by December 15 for coverage that starts January 1, 2014.&nbsp; Enrollment stays open until March 31.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:12.0pt;margin-left:<br /> 0in"><br /> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--></p><p><o:p></o:p></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/affordable-care-act-clearing-facts#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/756304 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Thu, 31 Oct 2013 17:04:46 +0000 ngoriel 756304 at http://www.sba.gov A Clear Path Forward for HealthCare.gov http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/clear-path-forward-healthcaregov <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Note: </strong>This blog is by&nbsp;Julie Bataille, Director of Communications, Centers for Medicare &amp; Medicaid Services and first appeared on<a href="http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2013/10/marketplace-path-forward.html"> HHS.gov/healthcare</a> on October 25, 2013.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Earlier this week, we announced that management expert and former CEO and Chairman of two publicly traded companies, Jeff Zients, would lend his expertise to our efforts to improve the consumer experience on HealthCare.gov.&nbsp; At the request of the President and Secretary Sebelius, Jeff worked over the last week with a team of expert engineers and technology managers from leading technology companies around the country to assess the overall state of the&nbsp;<a href="http://healthcare.gov/"><strong>HealthCare.gov</strong></a>&nbsp;site. I&rsquo;m writing today to share their conclusions.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">In Jeff&rsquo;s own words,&nbsp;<em style="font-size: 12px;">&ldquo;the topline result of this assessment is that the&nbsp;</em><a href="http://healthcare.gov/" style="font-size: 12px;"><strong><em>HealthCare.gov</em></strong></a><em style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;site&nbsp;<u>IS fixable</u>.&nbsp;It will take a lot of work,&nbsp;and there are a lot of problems that need to be addressed,&nbsp;but, let me be clear:</em>&nbsp;<a href="http://healthcare.gov/" style="font-size: 12px;"><strong><em>HealthCare.gov</em></strong></a><em style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;is fixable.&rdquo;</em></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Based on our assessment, we now have a clear path forward. &nbsp;The problems we have identified with the site fall into two broad categories: performance issues, such as the speed, response time and reliability issues that many consumers have been frustrated with; and functional problems, which are the bugs that prevent the software from working the way it&rsquo;s supposed to.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">We&rsquo;ve created a punch list of fixes across these categories and we&rsquo;re going to punch them out one by one.&nbsp; In order to do that as quickly and efficiently as possible, we are bringing in a general contractor to manage the overall effort.&nbsp; They will work around the clock with all the key decision makers and players, including CMS leadership and senior representatives from each vendor and each contractor.&nbsp; As Jeff said, there will be a relentless focus on speed and execution to work through the punch list. &nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">We know that today, people are signing up for more affordable health care coverage at HealthCare.gov &ndash; nearly 700,000 people have filled out applications nationwide from both the federal and state marketplaces. While we work toward a better HealthCare.gov, consumers should continue to sign up.&nbsp; There are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2013/10/marketplace-four-ways-to-apply.html" style="font-size: 12px;"><strong>four ways to apply for coverage</strong></a>, including online, and each week HealthCare.gov will get better.&nbsp; By the end of November, HealthCare.gov will work smoothly for the vast majority of consumers.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">It is important for us to deliver on the promise of affordable health coverage for Americans who want it, and we are committed to doing just that by getting HealthCare.gov right.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/clear-path-forward-healthcaregov#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/755759 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Mon, 28 Oct 2013 19:04:28 +0000 ngoriel 755759 at http://www.sba.gov Healthcare.gov- Gathering Public Feedback and Making Improvements http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/healthcaregov-gathering-public-feedback-and-making-improvements <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Note: This blog is from<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/blog/we-re-listening-and-improving-every-day/"> Healthcare.gov </a>and first appeared on October 21.</strong></span></span></p> <p>We know using HealthCare.gov has been frustrating for many Americans. The initial consumer experience of HealthCare.gov has not lived up to the expectations of the American people. We are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hhs.gov/digitalstrategy/doing-better-making-improvements-healthcaregov.html">committed to doing better</a>.</p> <p>We&rsquo;ve been gathering feedback since the day we launched &ndash; from our customer service representatives, social media channels, and online surveys and comments. And we&rsquo;re listening.</p> <p>We&rsquo;ve been making changes to respond directly to your feedback and will continue to do so. A few of our most important changes so far:</p> <ul> <li> You can now&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/find-premium-estimates/">preview plans and prices</a>&nbsp;available in your area without filling out the online application.</li> <li> You can find out, with an&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/how-can-i-get-an-estimate-of-costs-and-savings-on-marketplace-health-insurance/">improved calculator</a>, whether your income and household size may qualify you for lower costs on your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.</li> <li> <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/how-do-i-apply-for-marketplace-coverage/">You can apply for coverage 4 ways</a>: By phone, online, by mail with a paper application, or with the help of an in-person assister.</li> <li> We&rsquo;ve been adding educational online content where you tell us you need more information: About estimating your income, accounting for people in your household, eligibility rules, and more.</li> </ul> <p>And please keep the feedback coming &ndash; <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/blog/we-re-listening-and-improving-every-day/">on this blog post</a>, &nbsp;on any of our social media pages, or by using the little <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/">&ldquo;Was this page helpful?&rdquo;</a> survey that appears near the bottom of most pages on the site.</p> <p>We won&rsquo;t rest until every American who needs affordable, high-quality coverage can get it - using whatever method works best for them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/healthcaregov-gathering-public-feedback-and-making-improvements#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/754955 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:56:07 +0000 ngoriel 754955 at http://www.sba.gov Delivering on the Affordable Care Act: Marketplace Premiums Lower than Expected http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/delivering-affordable-care-act-marketplace-premiums-lower-expected <p><strong>Note: </strong>This blog is by <span class="author-name">Jeanne Lambrew, </span>Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy<span class="author-name"> and first appeared at <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/09/25/delivering-affordable-care-act-marketplace-premiums-lower-expected">WhiteHouse.gov </a>on September 25, 2013.</span></p> <p>At the center of the Affordable Care Act is the premise that we need to make health care more affordable and accessible for more Americans, and <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/marketplace_premiums_ib_final.pdf">a new report released today</a> demonstrates just how affordable insurance will be. The report, released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), finds that in state after state, affordable options will be available through the Health Insurance Marketplace in 2014.&nbsp;</p> <p>Nearly all eligible uninsured Americans (about 95%) live in states with average premiums below earlier projections.&nbsp; And nearly all consumers (about 95%) will have a choice of health insurance companies, each of which offers a number of different plans. &nbsp;Competition and transparency are driving a new set of affordable options for consumers -- it is how the law was designed.&nbsp; This new report shows the real impact it could have &ndash; a working a family with income of $50,000 could pay less than $100 per month for the lowest bronze plan, after tax credits.</p> <p>The Marketplace will be run in partnership with States or fully by the HHS in 36 states. In these states, on average, consumers will have a choice of 53 health plans (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plans).&nbsp; Young adults will have the additional option of low-cost catastrophic or youth plans.&nbsp;And, about one in four of these insurance companies are newly offering plans in the individual market, a sign of healthy competition.&nbsp;</p> <p>And competition is helping to lower costs. States with the lowest premiums have more than twice the number of insurance companies offering plans than states with the highest premiums. In the 48 States (including the District of Columbia) where premiums are available, the average premium for the lowest cost silver plan in the Marketplace is more than 16 percent lower than projected.&nbsp;</p> <p>Premiums are even lower for workers and families qualifying for tax credits. For example, in Texas, an average 27-year-old with income of $25,000 could pay $83 for the lowest-cost bronze plan, $133 for the lowest-cost silver plan, and $145 per month for the second lowest-cost silver plan after tax credits.&nbsp; For a family of four in Texas with income of $50,000, they could pay $57 per month for the lowest bronze plan, $239 for the lowest silver plan, and $282 per month for the second lowest-cost silver plan.</p> <p>And based on the law&rsquo;s provisions (the premium tax credit and Medicaid expansion), nearly 6 in 10 of the uninsured will pay $100 or less per month for health coverage.</p> <p><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/marketplace_premiums_ib_final.pdf">Download the full report here</a>, or for information by state, go to <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform/map">wh.gov/healthreform/map</a>.</p> <p>In less than a week, the new Marketplace will be open for business. From October to March 2014, more Americans will be able to check out their choices at HealthCare.gov and find health plans that fit their lives and their budgets.</p> <p>For more information, go to <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/">HealthCare.gov</a>.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/delivering-affordable-care-act-marketplace-premiums-lower-expected#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/754138 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Wed, 25 Sep 2013 19:21:51 +0000 ngoriel 754138 at http://www.sba.gov Myth vs. Fact: Myth #3: Business Owners Will Be Fined If They Don’t Notify Their Employees About the New Health Insurance Marketplace http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/myth-vs-fact-myth-3-business-owners-will-be-fined-if-they-don%E2%80%99t-notify-their-employees-about-new-health-insurance-marketplace <p>As a business owner, it&#39;s important to understand how the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/healthcare" title="SBA's Affordable Care Act page">Affordable Care Act</a>&nbsp;may affect your business. However, with so many misconceptions about how the Affordable Care Act works, this can be difficult.&nbsp;</p> <p>As part of our ongoing blog series, &quot;Myth vs. Fact: The Affordable Care Act and Small Business,&quot; this week we&#39;re debunking another common myth: <strong>Business owners will be fined if they don&#39;t provide notification to their employees about the new Health Insurance Marketplace.</strong></p> <p><strong>Fact: </strong>If your company is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, you must provide a written notice to your employees about the Health Insurance Marketplace by <u>October 1, 2013</u>.&nbsp; However, there is no fine or penalty under the law for failing to provide the notice.</p> <h3> Which Employers Must Provide This Notification?</h3> <p>Under the Affordable Care Act, all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (generally, those firms that have at least one employee and at least $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business), must notify their employees about the new <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/index.html" title="healthcare.gov">Health Insurance Marketplace</a>, whether or not the employer currently provides health coverage to its employees.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Marketplace opens for enrollment in all states on October 1, 2013 and offers individuals and small business owners an online portal to find and compare private health insurance options.</p> <h3> What Information Do I Need to Include in the Notice to My Employees?</h3> <p>The notice should inform employees:</p> <ul> <li> About what the new Health Insurance Marketplace is and that open enrollment begins on October 1, 2013;</li> <li> That, depending on their income and what coverage may be offered by the employer, employees may be able to purchase lower cost private insurance in the individual Marketplace; and</li> <li> If employees buy insurance through the individual Marketplace, they may lose the employer contribution (if any) to their health benefits.</li> </ul> <p>Employers are required to provide this notice to all current employees by <strong>October 1, 2013</strong>, and to each new employee at the time of hire beginning on that same date.&nbsp; This requirement applies regardless of an employee&#39;s plan enrollment status (if applicable) or their part-time or full-time status.</p> <p>The Department of Labor (DOL) will consider a notice to be provided at the time of hiring if the notice is provided within 14 days of an employee&#39;s start date.</p> <h3> Where Can I Get More Information?</h3> <p>DOL has provided employers with two sample notices they may use to help comply with this rule. There is one model for employers who do not offer a health plan and another model for employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/FLSAwithplans.pdf" title="Model Notice for employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees on dol.gov">Model Notice for employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/FLSAwithoutplans.pdf" title="Model Notice for employers who do not offer a health plan on dol.gov">Model Notice for employers who do not offer a health plan</a></li> </ul> <p>Access Spanish and MS Word versions of the model notices on the <a href="http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/" title="Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act">DOL Affordable Care Act page</a>.</p> <p>For more information about this notice requirement, see this <a href="http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/tr13-02.html" title="Technical Release No. 2013-02 on dol.gov">Technical Release</a> issued by the Department of Labor.&nbsp; You can also visit DOL&#39;s website for additional <a href="http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-noticeofcoverageoptions.html" title="FAQ on Notice of Coverage Options on dol.gov">Q&amp;A</a> on this topic.</p> <p>DOL&#39;s Wage and Hour Division also provides guidance relating to the applicability of the FLSA in general, including a <a href="http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/scope/screen24.asp." title="Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor on dol.gov">compliance assistance tool</a> to determine applicability of the FLSA.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/myth-vs-fact-myth-3-business-owners-will-be-fined-if-they-don%E2%80%99t-notify-their-employees-about-new-health-insurance-marketplace#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/753128 Health Care Business Pulse Thu, 12 Sep 2013 19:41:22 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 753128 at http://www.sba.gov Google+ Hangout: Learn How to Access Health Care Coverage for Your Small Business Through Cover Oregon http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/google-hangout-learn-how-access-health-care-coverage-your-small-business-through-cover-oregon <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SBA and Cover Oregon have teamed up to host a series of Google+ Hangouts on the Affordable Care Act. The final Hangout on Tuesday, September 17 will cover what small businesses need to know about Oregon&rsquo;s Marketplace, Cover Oregon, and how they will access coverage through the web portal &ndash; <a href="http://www.coveroregon.com">www.coveroregon.com</a> Cover Oregon will address specific small business needs including:</p> <ul> <li> Requesting real-time carrier quotes including available plans and rates</li> <li> An employer&rsquo;s process to search for and select a medical plan and dental plan</li> <li> Setting up the employee open enrollment period</li> <li> How to use the e-signature and carrier submission</li> </ul> <p><strong>When:</strong></p> <p>Tuesday, September 17, 2013 | 12:00-12:30 p.m. PDT</p> <p><strong>Who:</strong></p> <p>Moderator:</p> <p>Natale Goriel, Online Media Coordinator, U.S. Small Business Administration</p> <p>Participant:</p> <p>Jennifer Morgan, Business Readiness Expert, Cover Oregon</p> <p><strong>Where:</strong></p> <p>Watch from either SBA&rsquo;s YouTube Channel <a href="http://www.youtube.com/sba">http://www.youtube.com/sba</a>&nbsp; or SBA&rsquo;s Google+ Page <a href="http://www.google.com/+sbagov">www.google.com/+sbagov</a>.</p> <p><strong>Registration:</strong> Registration is not required for this Hangout.&nbsp; Simply click on SBA&rsquo;s YouTube Channel <a href="http://www.youtube.com/sba">http://www.youtube.com/sba</a> or Google+ Page <a href="http://www.google.com/+sbagov">www.google.com/+sbagov</a> to watch the Hangout live on September 17. The Hangout will also be recorded and will be available on SBA&rsquo;s YouTube Channel and Google+ Page.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/google-hangout-learn-how-access-health-care-coverage-your-small-business-through-cover-oregon#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/753052 Health Care Business Pulse Managing SBA News and Views Wed, 11 Sep 2013 12:57:34 +0000 ngoriel 753052 at http://www.sba.gov New Guidance on Information Reporting Requirements Under the Affordable Care Act http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/new-guidance-information-reporting-requirements-under-affordable-care-act <p>Under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, those employers that are subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions must report certain information regarding the health coverage they offer their full-time employees (known as Section 6056 reporting).&nbsp; The law also requires information reporting by insurers, self-insuring employers, and other parties like governmental entities that provide health coverage to individuals (Section 6055 reporting).&nbsp; These reporting provisions take effect on January 1, 2015, and the first reports are due to the Internal Revenue Service in early 2016.&nbsp;</p> <p>Last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS issued proposed regulations that provide further guidance about these information reporting requirement designed to help streamline and simplify the requirements under the law.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <h4> What Must Employers, Insurers, and Other Reporting Entities Report Under these Rules?</h4> <p>The Affordable Care Act calls for employers, insurers, and other reporting entities to report to the IRS, among other things:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Section 6056 Reports</strong> <strong>For Employers That Are Subject to Employer Shared Responsibility (Those with 50 or More Full-Time or Full-Time Equivalent Employees):</strong> <ul> <li> Information about the employer that is offering health coverage (including contact information for the employer and the number of full-time employees).</li> <li> The names, addresses, and taxpayer ID numbers of the employer&rsquo;s full-time employees and information about the coverage offered to each such employee, by month, including the cost of self-only coverage.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p>Section 6056 also requires these employers to provide written statements to their full-time employees that includes the contact information for the employer and the information required to be shown on the section 6056 reports with respect to the full-time employee so that employees may use the statements to help determine whether, for each month of the calendar year, they can claim an individual premium tax credit on their tax returns. &nbsp;The first employee statements must be provided in early 2016 as well.&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition, information from these reports will be used to administer and ensure compliance with the eligibility requirements for the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions and the individual premium tax credit.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Section 6055 Reports</strong> <strong>For Insurers, Self-Insuring Employers, and Other Parties That Provide Health Coverage:</strong> <ul> <li> Information about the entity providing coverage, including contact information.</li> <li> The name of each individual enrolled in minimum essential coverage along with taxpayer ID numbers and the months they were covered.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <h4> How Do These Proposed Regulations Help to Streamline Reporting Requirements?</h4> <p>The proposed regulations issued by Treasury reflect comments received and an ongoing dialogue with a variety of stakeholders, many of whom already offer their full-time workforce coverage far exceeding the minimum Employer Shared Responsibility requirements.</p> <p>The proposed rules describe a variety of options to potentially reduce or streamline information reporting, such as:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Replacing section 6056 employee statements with Form W-2 reporting on offers of employer-sponsored coverage to employees, spouses, and dependents.</p> </li> <li> <p>Eliminating the need to determine whether particular employees are full-time if adequate coverage is offered to all potentially full-time employees.</p> </li> <li> <p>Allowing employers to report the specific cost to an employee of purchasing employer-sponsored coverage only if the cost is above a specified dollar amount.</p> </li> <li> <p>Allowing self-insured group health plans to avoid furnishing employee statements under both section 6055 and section 6056 by furnishing a single substitute statement.</p> </li> <li> <p>Limited reporting for certain self-insured employers offering no-cost coverage to employees and their families.</p> </li> </ul> <h4> How Can I Submit Comments on These Proposed Rules and Where Can I Go to Get More Information?</h4> <p>Employers and other stakeholders are invited to submit written or electronic comments on both the Section 6056 and 6055 proposed rules by November 8, 2013. &nbsp;Public hearings on these proposed rules are scheduled for mid-November, and these public comments will be taken into account in developing the final regulations for these reporting rules.</p> <p>Once the final rules have been published, reporting entities will be encouraged to voluntarily implement information reporting in 2014 (when reporting will be optional), in preparation for the full application of the reporting provisions starting in 2015.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The proposed rules can be viewed on the Federal Register:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/09/09/2013-21791/information-reporting-by-applicable-large-employers-on-health-insurance-coverage-offered-under">Section 6056</a></li> <li> <a href="https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/09/09/2013-21783/information-reporting-of-minimum-essential-coverage">Section 6055</a></li> </ul> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/new-guidance-information-reporting-requirements-under-affordable-care-act#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/753032 Health Care Business Pulse Business Laws Managing Tue, 10 Sep 2013 19:24:54 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 753032 at http://www.sba.gov Self Employed? What You Need to Know About Individual Shared Responsibility Starting in January 2014 http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/self-employed-what-you-need-know-about-individual-shared-responsibility-starting-january-2014 <p>Under the Affordable Care Act, the government, insurers, employers, and individuals share in the responsibility to improve the availability, quality, and affordability of health insurance coverage.&nbsp; The individual shared responsibility provision is a key part of helping to deliver the law&rsquo;s consumer protections at an affordable cost. It makes these protections possible by ensuring that individuals do not just wait to purchase insurance when they are sick and drop coverage when they are well, which drives up premiums for everyone.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Starting in January 2014, the individual shared responsibility provision calls for each individual to have:</p> <ul> <li> Basic health insurance coverage (known as minimum essential coverage) for reach month</li> <li> Qualify for an exemption, or</li> <li> Make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing a federal income tax return.</li> </ul> <p>Individuals will not have to make a payment if coverage is unaffordable, if they spend less than three consecutive months without coverage, or if they qualify for an exemption for several other reasons, including hardship and religious beliefs.</p> <p>According to the Congressional Budget Office, less than two percent of Americans will owe a shared responsibility payment.</p> <p>The Department of Treasury recently issued final guidance that helps to clarify these requirements.&nbsp; Key highlights of include:</p> <p><strong>Minimum Essential Coverage</strong></p> <p>Under the final regulations, <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision">minimum essential coverage</a> includes, at a minimum, all of the following:</p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Employer-sponsored coverage (including COBRA coverage and retiree coverage)</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Coverage purchased in the individual market</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Medicare Part A coverage</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Medicaid coverage</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Children&#39;s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Certain types of Veterans health coverage</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">TRICARE</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>Hardship Exemption</strong></p> <p>Under the regulations, there are several situations that will always be treated as constituting a hardship and therefore qualify for an exemption.&nbsp; These include:</p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Individuals who the new Health Insurance Marketplace projects will have no offer of affordable coverage; and</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Individuals who would be eligible for Medicaid but for a state&rsquo;s choice not to expand Medicaid eligibility.&nbsp; This rule will protect individuals in states that decline to expand Medicaid eligibility.</span></li> </ul> <p>Under the regulations, a hardship exemption will also be available on a case-by-case basis for individuals who face other unexpected personal or financial circumstances that prevent them from obtaining coverage.</p> <p><strong>What Does Coverage for Each Month Mean? </strong></p> <p>The regulations also provide that an individual is treated as having coverage for a month so long as he or she has coverage for any one day of that month.&nbsp; For example, an individual who starts a new job on February 26 and is enrolled in employer-sponsored coverage on that day is treated as having coverage for the month of February.&nbsp; And an individual who is eligible for an exemption for any one day of a month is treated as exempt for the entire month.</p> <p>Individuals who experience short coverage gaps -- less than three consecutive months -- are also exempt from payment.</p> <p><strong>When Are the First Payments Due and Where Can I Go to Get More Information?</strong></p> <p>Starting in early 2015, individuals filing a tax return for 2014 will indicate which members of their family (including themselves) are exempt from the provision. For family members who are not exempt, the taxpayer will indicate whether they had insurance coverage.&nbsp; For each non-exempt family member who doesn&rsquo;t have coverage, the taxpayer will owe a shared responsibility payment.</p> <p>To learn more about the&nbsp;Individual Shared Responsibility requirements and exemptions that may apply to you, refer to this new <a href="http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2152.aspx">Fact Sheet&nbsp;</a>from the U.S. Department of Treasury, as well as these helpful <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision">Q&amp;As&nbsp;</a>from the Internal Revenue Service, or consult with your tax professional.</p> <p>For more information about new benefits and opportunities to purchase health insurance coverage through the individual Marketplace, visit <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/index.html">healthcare.gov</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/self-employed-what-you-need-know-about-individual-shared-responsibility-starting-january-2014#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/752239 Health Care Business Pulse Wed, 28 Aug 2013 17:52:27 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 752239 at http://www.sba.gov SBA & Cover Oregon Google+ Hangout: Is My Business Eligible for the Tax Credit Under the Affordable Care Act? http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/sba-cover-oregon-google-hangout-my-business-eligible-tax-credit-under-affordable-care-act <p>Not sure how the health care law may impact your business in Oregon? SBA and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/leaving-sba-dot-gov?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcoveroregon.com%2F">Cover Oregon</a>&nbsp;are teaming up to bring you three Google+ Hangouts that will dive into specific topics of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/healthcare">Affordable Care Act</a>&nbsp;like the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-health-insurance-marketplace/#state=oregon">Marketplace</a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/will-i-qualify-for-small-business-health-care-tax-credits/">small business tax credit</a>. In case you missed it, the first <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqYVcnRHxVQ&amp;list=TL6_WHb6IopVw">Hangout</a> discussed what businesses need to know about the new Health Care Marketplace in Oregon, Cover Oregon.</p> <p>The second Hangout on August 27&nbsp;will cover what businesses need to know about the small business tax credit and eligibility requirements under the Affordable Care Act.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s what you need to know about the Hangout:</p> <p><strong>Topic:</strong></p> <p>Is my business eligible for the small business tax credit under the ACA and what&#39;s the procedure?</p> <p><strong>When:</strong></p> <p>August 27 | 10:30-11:00 a.m. PDT</p> <p><strong>Participants:</strong></p> <ul> <li> Meredith Olafson, Senior Policy Advisor, SBA</li> <li> Marisa O&#39;Brien, Business Marketing Specialist, Cover Oregon</li> <li> Mike Roach, Small Business Owner, &nbsp;Paloma Clothing<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><strong>Moderator:</strong></p> <p>Linda Baker, Editor,&nbsp;Oregon Business Magazine</p> <p><strong>Watch from either SBA&rsquo;s:</strong></p> <ul> <li> YouTube Channel&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/leaving-sba-dot-gov?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fsba">http://www.youtube.com/sba</a></li> <li> Google+ Page&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/leaving-sba-dot-gov?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F%2Bsbagov">www.google.com/+sbagov</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>How you can participate:</strong></p> <p>Tweet your questions using the hashtag #CoverOregon</p> <p><strong>Note:&nbsp;</strong> Registration is not required for this Hangout.&nbsp; Simply click on SBA&rsquo;s YouTube channel&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/leaving-sba-dot-gov?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fsba">http://www.youtube.com/sba</a>&nbsp;or Google+ Page&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/leaving-sba-dot-gov?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F%2Bsbagov">www.google.com/+sbagov</a>&nbsp;to watch the Hangout live on August 27 at 10:30 a.m. PDT. The Hangout will also be recorded and will be available on SBA&rsquo;s YouTube channel and Google+ page.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/sba-cover-oregon-google-hangout-my-business-eligible-tax-credit-under-affordable-care-act#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/751371 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Fri, 16 Aug 2013 20:31:03 +0000 ngoriel 751371 at http://www.sba.gov Five Ways the Affordable Care Act Helps America’s Small Businesses http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/five-ways-affordable-care-act-helps-america%E2%80%99s-small-businesses <p><strong>NOTE:</strong> This blog is by&nbsp;Ari Matusiak,&nbsp;special assistant to the President &amp; director of private sector engagement and first appeared at <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/08/14/five-ways-affordable-care-act-helps-america-s-small-businesses">Whitehouse.gov</a> on August 14, 2013.</p> <p>Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and for the 28 million small employers across the country, healthcare is a major concern. The Affordable Care Act provides benefits and opportunities to small businesses that will help increase access to affordable coverage options.</p> <p>Here are five key ways the Affordable Care Act can benefit small employers and their workers:</p> <p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>SHOP Marketplaces:&nbsp;</strong>Currently, small businesses face premiums that are on average 18% higher than large businesses. On October 1, 2013, the new Small Business Health Insurance Options Program (SHOP) Marketplaces will be open for businesses, and small employers in every state will be able to shop for health coverage on a competitive marketplace, that brings unprecedented transparency to the market and gives small businesses the same purchasing clout as big businesses.</p> <p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Reducing Administrative Complexity:</strong>&nbsp;SHOP Marketplaces include web portals that provide standardized, easy-to-understand information that will make comparing and purchasing coverage easier, and will simplify the administrative challenges that businesses often face when offering plans. Visit&nbsp;<a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/">www.HealthCare.gov</a>&nbsp;to learn more about the SHOP Marketplace and to get ready for open enrollment.</p> <p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>New Tax Credits:&nbsp;</strong>The small business tax credit helps small businesses afford the cost of healthcare coverage for their employees, and is already helping qualifying small businesses offset the cost of insurance by up to 35%. In 2014, this tax credit goes up to 50% and is available to qualified small businesses who obtain coverage through the SHOP Marketplace.</p> <p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">4.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Improved Risk Pooling:&nbsp;</strong>The new SHOP Marketplaces will allow small groups to pool risks and reduce administrative complexity, thereby increasing their purchasing power and reducing costs for small businesses that want to provide coverage to their workers. Business can enroll starting on October 1, 2013, through their brokers, or directly through the SHOP Marketplace. Stay connected to the latest information on the Marketplaces by going to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/">www.HealthCare.gov</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">5.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Workplace Wellness: &nbsp;</strong>The Affordable Care Act creates new incentives to promote workplace wellness programs and encourages employers to take more opportunities to support healthier workplaces. Effective for plan years after January 1, 2014, final rules allow the maximum reward to employers using a health-contingent wellness program to increase from 20 percent to 30 percent of the cost of health coverage, and the maximum reward for programs designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use will be as much as 50 percent.</p> <p>To help provide small business owners with the resources and information they need, the Obama Administration recently launched Businesss.USA.gov/healthcare, a one-shop where employers of all sizes can go for customizable information about how the law impacts them, based on the size, location and future plans for offering coverage. And, the Department of Health and Human Services launched a call center specifically to serve the needs of small businesses interested in the SHOP Marketplace. This call center (1-800-706-7893) is a new resource to help business owners get information to make the right decision for their bottom line and their employees. It&rsquo;s open Monday-Friday from 9 AM- 5 PM, with representatives available to help in English and Spanish.</p> <p>The Small Business Administration has also teamed up with Small Business Majority to offer a weekly webinar series designed to educate small business owners about what the healthcare law means for them. To sign up for a weekly Thursday Webinar before open enrollment starts on October 1, 2013, visit:<a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/new-dates-affordable-care-act-101-webinars">http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/new-dates-affordable-care-act-101-webinars</a>.&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/five-ways-affordable-care-act-helps-america%E2%80%99s-small-businesses#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/751329 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Thu, 15 Aug 2013 22:00:55 +0000 ngoriel 751329 at http://www.sba.gov Next Steps in Implementation of the Health Insurance Marketplace http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/next-steps-implementation-health-insurance-marketplace <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><strong>NOTE: </strong>This blog is by&nbsp;Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services and first appeared at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2013/08/steps-implement-marketplace.html">HHS.gov/HealthCare</a>&nbsp;on August 5. This blog includes information about the new&nbsp;call center specifically to serve small businesses with 50 or fewer employees interested in the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/">SHOP Marketplace</a>.&nbsp; For more information, call 1-800-706-7893 (TTY users: 1-800-706-7915) from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.</span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;">The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working every day to implement the health care law that&rsquo;s<a href="http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/bystate/Making-a-Difference-National.html" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-weight: bold; color: rgb(4, 103, 146) !important;">already helping millions of Americans</a>.&nbsp; And come October 1, it will help millions more when the Health Insurance Marketplace opens in every state.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;">We&rsquo;re already seeing how the Marketplace is increasing competition and giving consumers a better deal. &nbsp;A number of states from California to Maryland to Vermont recently announced rates for some plans offered through the Marketplace that will be 20 percent less expensive than previously estimated, and include coverage of higher quality than those offered today.&nbsp; New York announced that premiums for individuals enrolling through the state&rsquo;s Marketplace could be 50 percent less costly than they generally are today.</span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;">Today, we are adding a new feature to HealthCare.gov that allows people to create a personal account &ndash; including a username and password &ndash; which is&nbsp;<a href="http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/logo-and-infographics/how-marketplace-works-4-steps.pdf" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-weight: bold; color: rgb(106, 42, 93) !important;">the first step</a>&nbsp;to enroll in new coverage options in the Marketplace.</span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;">Today, we&rsquo;re also launching a call center specifically to serve small businesses interested in the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-weight: bold; color: rgb(106, 42, 93) !important;">SHOP Marketplace</a>.&nbsp; As you know the SHOP program launches on October 1 to give small businesses new ways to provide coverage to their employees.&nbsp; And this SHOP Marketplace Call Center is a new resource to help them get information to make the best decisions for their employees.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s open Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm and hours will expand after October 1, with customer service representatives available to help in English and Spanish.</span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;">We&rsquo;ve also begun accepting applications from organizations interested in providing in-person assistance to consumers that want to enroll in the Marketplace and are beginning to make&nbsp;<a href="http://marketplace.cms.gov/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-weight: bold; color: rgb(106, 42, 93) !important;">training resources</a>&nbsp;available for those who will serve consumers in person during open enrollment.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;">We&rsquo;ve known all along that Washington can&rsquo;t do this alone &ndash; but that was never the plan. The plan was always to engage our partners on the ground in every state to help spread the word and make sure their communities get enrolled in quality, affordable health coverage. &nbsp;That&rsquo;s why we&rsquo;re pleased to see trusted community resources like our local libraries stepping up to help.</span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;">This week we&rsquo;re excited to launch a &ldquo;<a href="http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/champion.html" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-weight: bold; color: rgb(106, 42, 93) !important;">Champions for Coverage</a>&rdquo; initiative for organizations that want to work with us to help spread the word to people about the Marketplace.&nbsp; And we&rsquo;re pleased to see members of the business and health care communities joining in the effort to get their patients and customers enrolled.&nbsp;We&rsquo;ve seen that with the partnership between Walgreens and Blue Cross Blue Shield, and CVS&rsquo;s recent announcement that it plans to help educate its customers.</span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;">Over the last three years, I&rsquo;ve traveled to more than 100 cities across nearly all 50 states talking about how the Affordable Care Act is delivering the change our country needed. &nbsp;Over the last couple of weeks I&rsquo;ve been in Phoenix and Chicago meeting with community health centers that were awarded critical grants to join our enrollment efforts.&nbsp; Since 2012, our Department has held thousands of ACA events reaching millions of people in communities across the country.&nbsp; Since July alone, we&rsquo;ve held hundreds of outreach and enrollment activities that have reached nearly 50,000 people. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;">And everywhere I go, I meet people who are excited to learn about the Marketplace and hungry for information and ways to help. That&rsquo;s why we are doing everything we can to make sure we&rsquo;re ready today so we can be ready October 1 &ndash; and we will be. In the coming months, I&rsquo;ll continue traveling across the country to share information and spread the word.</span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;">As you&rsquo;ve heard from the President and First Lady, this is an all-hands-on-deck approach. And all of HHS is engaging and reengaging people to make sure every American knows about the new opportunities available to them in this historic moment.</span></p> <p style="margin: 5px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 0px 0px 10px; border: 0px; font-size: 0.812em; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/next-steps-implementation-health-insurance-marketplace#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/750624 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Tue, 06 Aug 2013 16:53:07 +0000 ngoriel 750624 at http://www.sba.gov Do You Have Questions about the Health Care Marketplace? Hangout with SBA & Cover Oregon for Answers http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/do-you-have-questions-about-health-care-marketplace-hangout-with-sba-cover-oregon-answers <p>Not sure how the health care law may impact your business in Oregon? SBA and <a href="http://coveroregon.com/">Cover Oregon</a> are teaming up to bring you three Google+ Hangouts that will dive into specific topics of the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/healthcare">Affordable Care Act</a> like the <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-health-insurance-marketplace/#state=oregon">Marketplace</a> and the <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/will-i-qualify-for-small-business-health-care-tax-credits/">small business tax credit</a>.</p> <p>The first Hangout kicks off on August 13<sup>th</sup> and will cover what businesses need to know about the Marketplace, also known as Cover Oregon.&nbsp; Through Cover Oregon, employers and individuals will be able to shop for health insurance plans. Oregon is among the 17 states and the District of Columbia that has chosen to establish their own Marketplace.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s what you need to know about the Hangout:</p> <p><strong>Topic:</strong></p> <p>What is a Marketplace and How can it Help my Business in Oregon</p> <p><strong>When:</strong></p> <p>August 13 | 12-12:30pm PT</p> <p><strong>Participants:</strong></p> <ul> <li> Meredith Olafson, Senior Policy Advisor, SBA</li> <li> Marisa O&#39;Brien, Business Marketing Specialist, Cover Oregon</li> <li> Jim Houser, Small Business Owner, Hawthorne Auto Clinic, Inc.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Moderator:</strong></p> <p>Elizabeth Hayes, Reporter, <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/">Portland Business Journal</a></p> <p><strong>Watch from either SBA&rsquo;s:</strong></p> <ul> <li> YouTube Channel <a href="http://www.youtube.com/sba">http://www.youtube.com/sba</a></li> <li> Google+ Page <a href="http://www.google.com/+sbagov">www.google.com/+sbagov</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>How you can participate:</strong></p> <p>Tweet your questions using the hashtag #CoverOregon</p> <p><strong>Note:</strong></p> <p>Registration is not required for this Hangout.&nbsp; Simply click on SBA&rsquo;s YouTube channel <a href="http://www.youtube.com/sba">http://www.youtube.com/sba</a> or Google+ Page <a href="http://www.google.com/+sbagov">www.google.com/+sbagov</a>&nbsp;to watch the Hangout live on August 13 at 12pm PT. The Hangout will also be recorded and will be available on SBA&rsquo;s YouTube channel and Google+ page.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/do-you-have-questions-about-health-care-marketplace-hangout-with-sba-cover-oregon-answers#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/750267 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Fri, 02 Aug 2013 22:14:38 +0000 ngoriel 750267 at http://www.sba.gov Health Care Changes: A New Tool for Small Business Owners http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/health-care-changes-new-tool-small-business-owners <p>Affordable health care is a top concern for America&rsquo;s 28 million small businesses.&nbsp; During my travels, I&rsquo;ve had a number of small business owners across the country tell me that the moment they really felt their business was a success was the day they were able to offer health insurance to their employees. &nbsp;But we know that many small business owners may still be wondering when that day will be and what the Affordable Care Act can do to help.&nbsp;</p> <p>Depending on the size of your business, different provisions of the Affordable Care Act may apply. This is why it&rsquo;s so important that small business owners know the facts about the law and use them to make any business decisions. &nbsp;</p> <p>Today, we&rsquo;re excited to announce a new, streamlined health care tool for businesses --housed at Business.USA.gov -- to help you find out exactly what you and your employees need to know about the Affordable Care Act.&nbsp;&nbsp; Business.USA.gov leverages the resources of our partners across the federal government to ensure that business owners get comprehensive information and easy-to-use tools related to range of topics, including health care.</p> <p>In a few quick steps, the streamlined tool can help you understand what you need to know about new insurance options and other health care changes as well as find health care-related resources that are relevant to your business.</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe height="500px" src="http://business.usa.gov/healthcare?widget=1/" width="350px"></iframe></p> <p>The tool uses various prompts including your business&rsquo;s location, size, and whether you currently offer insurance to connect you with the resources you need from Small Business Administration (SBA), the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Treasury and our other federal partners.&nbsp; For example, if you&rsquo;re a small business owner in Oregon with 35 full-time employees who already offers insurance and wants to continue the coverage you currently use, the health care tool can use this information to connect you with the best <a href="http://business.usa.gov/external-site?ccontent=http://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-marketplace-in-my-state#state=oregon">resources</a> and <a href="http://business.usa.gov/external-site?ccontent=http://www.healthcare.gov/what-if-i-already-insure-my-employees">information</a> available to help inform your plans.&nbsp;</p> <p>The SBA has also joined forces with our partners at Small Business Majority to offer a weekly webinar series designed to educate small business owners across the country about what the Affordable Care Act means for them.&nbsp; We&rsquo;ll be offering these webinars, which are free and open to all small business owners, every Thursday until October when the Marketplaces open for enrollment, so click <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/affordable-care-act-101-weekly-webinar-se">here</a>to sign up today.</p> <p>The Affordable Care Act allows small employers to offer health coverage in a way that makes sense for their business and works for their bottom line.&nbsp; Now, more than ever, SBA is committed to leveraging our resources and federal partnerships to ensure that small business owners have the facts and resources you need to understand the law.&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/health-care-changes-new-tool-small-business-owners#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/749271 Health Care Business Pulse Business Laws Managing SBA News and Views Thu, 01 Aug 2013 15:07:36 +0000 Karen Mills 749271 at http://www.sba.gov New Dates for the Affordable Care Act 101 Webinars http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/new-dates-affordable-care-act-101-webinars <div> <p>The Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority are excited to announce the next set of Affordable Care Act 101 weekly webinar dates with SBA Administrator Karen Mills joining as a special guest today, August 15 at 2pm ET. During each presentation, small business owners can learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act and what it means for their company and employees. SBA representatives help small business owners understand the facts of the Affordable Care Act so they can make informed decisions about providing health insurance for their employees.</p> <p>This free series focuses on both federal and state provisions to help small business owners understand how the law will affect them. Topics being discussed include:</p> <ul> <li> Small business tax credits (available to businesses and tax-exempt non-profits)&mdash; who&rsquo;s eligible for them and how to claim them</li> <li> Small business marketplaces</li> <li> Employer shared responsibility</li> <li> Cost containment</li> <li> Tools and resources available for small businesses interested in learning more about the law</li> </ul> <p>A question and answer period will follow.</p> <p>The Affordable Care Act 101 takes place on Thursdays from now through the opening of the marketplaces in October. &nbsp;Content will generally be the same each week.&nbsp; Below are the registration links for upcoming presentations.</p> <ul> <li> Thursday, August 15 at 2:00 PM ET: <a href="http://bit.ly/146FzFI">Click to Register</a> &ndash; <em>Featuring SBA Administrator Karen Mills</em></li> <li> Thursday, August 22 at 2:00 PM ET: &nbsp;<a href="https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=97ts6i4712ri">Click to Register</a></li> <li> Thursday, September 5 at 2:00 PM ET: <a href="https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=9sv56e5jv7sd">Click to Register</a></li> <li> Thursday, September 12 at 2:00 PM ET: <a href="https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=gmny8f4avl69">Click to Register</a></li> <li> Thursday, September 19 at 2:00 PM ET: <a href="https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=w92cocqcbrk8">Click to Register</a></li> <li> Thursday, September 26 at 2:00 PM ET: <a href="https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=skj0qkjfu4eu">Click to Register</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/new-dates-affordable-care-act-101-webinars#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/729991 Health Care Business Pulse Business Laws Managing Mentoring and Training SBA News and Views Wed, 17 Jul 2013 17:18:37 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 729991 at http://www.sba.gov The Affordable Care Act: Dates Every Small Business Owner Should Know http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/affordable-care-act-dates-every-small-bus <p>At the U.S. Small Business Administration, we know that health is one of the top concerns for small business owners across the country.&nbsp; Since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, the Obama Administration has been hard at work implementing key policies that are already helping make health care more affordable and accessible for America&rsquo;s small business owners--and more progress is on the way.</p> <p>Many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are already in effect, and the bulk of new regulations designed to help Americans access affordable quality healthcare will be in place by 2015. As these policies begin to help improve America&rsquo;s health care market, it&rsquo;s important for small business owners to stay informed, get the facts, and learn more about what the Affordable Care Act means for your business.</p> <p>Below is a breakdown by year of key policies in the Affordable Care Act that affect America&rsquo;s small businesses.</p> <p><strong>2010: The Affordable Care Act Becomes Law</strong></p> <ul> <li> Many small businesses become eligible for new <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Small-Business-Health-Care-Tax-Credit-for-Small-Employers">federal tax credits for eligible businesses</a> worth up to 35% of the employer&rsquo;s contribution to the employees&rsquo; health insurance to help them provide insurance benefits to their workers. Small non-profit organizations may receive up to a 25% credit.</li> <li> A new <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/bill-of-rights/index.html">Patient&rsquo;s Bill of Rights</a> goes into effect, protecting consumers from the worst abuses of the insurance industry.</li> </ul> <p><strong>2011: The Affordable Care Act Holds Insurance Companies Accountable</strong></p> <ul> <li> To ensure premium dollars are spent primarily on medical care, the law&rsquo;s &ldquo;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/how-does-the-health-care-law-protect-me/">80/20</a>&rdquo; rule requires that at least 80% of premium dollars collected by insurance companies for individuals and small employers must be spent on benefits and quality improvement.</li> <li> Another tough reform requires insurance companies to <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/costs/rate-review/index.html">publicly justify rate increases</a>, holding insurers accountable to the small businesses they serve, which has led to a sharp decline in double-digit rate hikes.</li> <li> To date, these two protections alone have already saved small businesses and consumers more than $2 billion.</li> </ul> <p><strong>2012: The Affordable Care Act Reduces Administrative Costs and Burdens</strong></p> <ul> <li> Effective in October, the law institutes a series of changes to cut costs and improve care by standardizing billing and requiring health plans to begin implementing rules for the secure, confidential, electronic exchange of health information.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><strong>2013:&nbsp; Open Enrollment in the Marketplaces Begins</strong></p> <ul> <li> On October 1, individuals and small businesses can buy affordable benefit plans by enrolling in the new Individual and Small Business Health Insurance Options Program (SHOP) <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/index.html">Marketplace</a>. For the first time, individuals and business owners are able to make side-by-side comparisons to find a plan that fits their budget and that&rsquo;s right for their families, businesses, and employees.</li> </ul> <p><strong>2014: The Marketplaces Open</strong></p> <ul> <li> Individual and SHOP Marketplaces open in all 50 states and the District of Columbia on January 1.</li> <li> Tax credits for eligible small businesses participating in the SHOP Marketplace go up to 50% (35% for non-profits). Individuals and the self-employed may qualify for premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies as well.</li> <li> Effective January 1, <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision">self-employed individuals</a> must have health insurance that meets the minimum essential coverage standards, qualify for an exemption, or be subject to an assessable payment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>2015: Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions Take Effect</strong></p> <ul> <li> Starting in 2015, <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-employer-shared-responsibility-payment">employers with 50 employees or more</a> full-time or full-time equivalent (FTE) employees must offer minimum essential coverage to their full-time employees or be subject to a potential Employer Shared Responsibility payment.</li> </ul> <p>To learn more about how the Affordable Care Act can help small businesses provide affordable, quality healthcare to employees, visit <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/">www.healthcare.gov</a>, or visit our <a href="http://www.sba.gov/healthcare">SBA Healthcare Resource Center</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/affordable-care-act-dates-every-small-bus#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/728931 Health Care Business Pulse Managing SBA News and Views Tue, 16 Jul 2013 18:03:49 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 728931 at http://www.sba.gov We’re Listening to Businesses about the Health Care Law http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/we%E2%80%99re-listening-businesses-about-health-care-law <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>NOTE:</strong> This blog is by&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 19px;">Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama and first appeared at <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/02/we-re-listening-businesses-about-health-care-law">WhiteHouse.gov</a> on July 2.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">From the start, this Administration has encouraged an ongoing dialogue with the leaders of our nation&rsquo;s businesses, large and small. There&rsquo;s more to do, but working together we&rsquo;ve helped rebuild our economy. Businesses have added&nbsp;<a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/06/07/employment-situation-may" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; color: rgb(51, 102, 153);">6.9 million private-sector jobs</a>in the past 39 months and we&rsquo;ve helped strengthen the middle class. Today, most Americans get their health insurance through their jobs and that will be the case moving forward.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">To help restore middle class security, we are making health care more affordable to businesses, government, and American families through the Affordable Care Act. While major portions of the law have yet to be implemented, it&rsquo;s already a little more affordable for businesses to offer quality health coverage to their employees. A recent&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/health-industries/behind-the-numbers/index.jhtml" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; color: rgb(51, 102, 153);">report</a>suggests that medical cost growth will be lower in 2014 than an already low rate in 2013, both &ldquo;defying historical patterns.&rdquo;</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Starting next year, the law also ensures all Americans will have access to affordable health coverage. We are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/Downloads/marketplace-outreach-timeline.pdf" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; color: rgb(51, 102, 153);">on target to open the Health Insurance Marketplace</a>&nbsp;on October 1 where small businesses and ordinary Americans will be able to go to one place to learn about their coverage options and make side-by-side comparisons of each plan&rsquo;s price and benefits before they make their decision.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">As we implement this law, we have and will continue to make changes as needed. In our ongoing discussions with businesses we have heard that you need the time to get this right. We are listening. So in response to your concerns, we are making two changes. &nbsp;</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px;">First, we are cutting red tape and simplifying the reporting</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px;">process</strong>. We have heard the concern that the reporting called for under the law about each worker&rsquo;s access to and enrollment in health insurance requires new data collection systems and coordination. So we plan to re-vamp and simplify the reporting process. Some of this detailed reporting may be unnecessary for businesses that more than meet the minimum standards in the law. We will convene employers, insurers, and experts to propose a smarter system and, in the interim, suspend reporting for 2014.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px;">Second, we are giving businesses more time to comply</strong>. As we make these changes, we believe we need to give employers more time to comply with the new rules. Since employer responsibility payments can only be assessed based on this new reporting, payments won&rsquo;t be collected for 2014. This allows employers the time to test the new reporting systems and make any necessary adaptations to their health benefits while staying the course toward making health coverage more affordable and accessible for their workers.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Just like our effort to turn the 21 page application for health insurance into a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Forms-Reports-and-Other-Resources/Downloads/marketplace-app-short-form.pdf" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; color: rgb(51, 102, 153);">3 page application</a>, we are working hard to adapt and to be flexible in employer and insurer reporting as we implement the law.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Meanwhile, here is a quick review of what small and big businesses need to know about the health law and how it will work:</p> <ul style="padding: 0px 0px 0px 20px; margin: 0px 18px 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.5em;"> <li style="padding: 0px; margin: 6px 0px; font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5 !important;"> If you are a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; color: rgb(51, 102, 153);">small business</a>&nbsp;with less than 50 workers, the law&rsquo;s employer shared responsibility policies does not apply to you. Instead, you will gain access to the Small Business Health Options Program that gives you the purchasing power of large businesses. In fact, you may be eligible for a tax credit that covers up to half the cost of insurance if you offer quality coverage to your employees</li> <li style="padding: 0px; margin: 6px 0px; font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5 !important;"> If you own a business with more than 50 workers that already offers full-time workers affordable, quality coverage, you are fine &ndash; we&rsquo;ll work with you to keep that coverage affordable.</li> <li style="padding: 0px; margin: 6px 0px; font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5 !important;"> And if you are a company with more than 50 employees but choose not to offer quality affordable coverage, we have provided as much flexibility and transition time as possible for you to move to providing affordable, quality coverage to your workers.</li> </ul> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">We are full steam ahead for the Marketplaces opening on October 1. For more information on what is coming check out:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; color: rgb(51, 102, 153);">HealthCare.gov</a></p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/we%E2%80%99re-listening-businesses-about-health-care-law#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/700101 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Tue, 02 Jul 2013 23:08:21 +0000 ngoriel 700101 at http://www.sba.gov Welcome to the New HealthCare.gov- 2014 Health Insurance Changes Included http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/welcome-new-healthcaregov-2014-health-ins <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Note: This blog first appeared at&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/blog/welcome-to-the-new-healthcare-gov" style="font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;">Healthcare.gov</a>&nbsp;on June 21, 2013.</strong></span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Health insurance is changing in important ways in 2014. We&rsquo;ve updated HealthCare.gov to help you get ready for those changes, especially one of the most important: the opening of the new&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-health-insurance-marketplace/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(4, 103, 146); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">Health Insurance Marketplace</a>.</span></span></p> <h2 style="margin: 10px 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; text-rendering: optimizelegibility; font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 32px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Answering your questions about health coverage</span></span></h2> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Our mission is to help you understand your new health coverage options so you can enroll in a plan that works for you and your family. If you run a small business, we&rsquo;ll help you&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-shop-marketplace/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(4, 103, 146); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">find a plan that works for you and your employees</a>.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/what-if-im-self-employed" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(4, 103, 146); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">Self-employed?</a>&nbsp;We&rsquo;ve got that covered too.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">New features include:</span></span></p> <ul> <li style="margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">The most important health insurance info at your fingertips&mdash;just&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/quick-answers/#step-1" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(4, 103, 146); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">answer a few quick questions</a>&nbsp;and we&rsquo;ll provide you with a personalized list of coverage options, content tailored to your situation, and a checklist to help you get ready</span></span></li> <li style="margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">An easy-to-understand question and answer format, with content based on the most common questions we hear</span></span></li> <li style="margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">A simpler site structure and powerful search features that make it easy to find what you&rsquo;re looking for</span></span></li> <li style="margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">A seamless HealthCare.gov experience on your mobile device, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer</span></span></li> <li style="margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">A new 800 number you can call to get your Marketplace questions answered by a customer service representative, available 24/7: 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)</span></span></li> <li style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Online chat, also available 24/7. Just look for the blue box on the lower right hand corner on most pages of our site. You&rsquo;ll be connected to a customer service representative who can answer your questions in an online conversation</span></span></li> </ul> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">When open enrollment starts on October 1, 2013, you&rsquo;ll be able to use this site to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(4, 103, 146); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">apply, compare plans, and enroll</a>. (Your state may be running the Marketplace where you live. If it does, you&#39;ll use your state website, not this one, to apply for coverage.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-marketplace-in-my-state" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(4, 103, 146); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">Find out the status in your state.</a>)</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014.</span></span></p> <h2 style="margin: 10px 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; text-rendering: optimizelegibility; font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 32px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Looking for something?</span></span></h2> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">When we rebuilt HealthCare.gov, we moved some things you used to find here. If you&#39;re looking for technical Marketplace information, resources for organizations, press materials, or other information about the Affordable Care Act, visit these sites:</span></span></p> <ul> <li style="margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><a href="http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(4, 103, 146); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">HHS.gov/HealthCare</a>: For information about the benefits and progress of the health care law</span></span></li> <li style="margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><a href="http://www.hhs.gov/news" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(4, 103, 146); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">HHS Newsroom</a>: For news releases, contacts, other information for the media</span></span></li> <li style="margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><a href="http://marketplace.cms.gov/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(4, 103, 146); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">Marketplace.CMS.gov</a>: For brochures, collateral material, outreach and training materials</span></span></li> <li style="margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><a href="http://cms.gov/cciio/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(4, 103, 146); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">CMS.gov/CCIIO</a>: For regulations, policy, and guidance from the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight</span></span></li> <li style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><a href="http://archive-it.org/collections/3626" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(4, 103, 146); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">HealthCare.gov Archive</a>: Includes all material formerly found on HealthCare.gov, captured at weekly intervals.</span></span></li> </ul> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>​<span style="color: rgb(0, 28, 71); line-height: 32px;">Help us make HealthCare.gov </span><span style="color: rgb(0, 28, 71); line-height: 32px;">better</span></strong></span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">We want to keep making the site better. We need your help to do that. Tell us what you think by leaving a comment below. Or look for the little &ldquo;Was this helpful?&rdquo; box on the bottom of most pages and provide feedback that way.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">We especially need to hear about what&rsquo;s not working, and about topics you need more information on. We look forward to hearing from you.</span></span></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/welcome-new-healthcaregov-2014-health-ins#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/688951 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Tue, 25 Jun 2013 17:14:36 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 688951 at http://www.sba.gov Workplace Wellness: Improving Health and Controlling Health Care Spending http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/workplace-wellness-improving-health-and-c <p>According to <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/">the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services</a>, chronic disease is responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans every year.&nbsp; And we know that the costs associated with treating individuals with chronic conditions account for the majority of annual spending on medical care. Across the country, more employers are learning how nondiscriminatory employer-based prevention and wellness programs &nbsp;can help improve the overall health of our workers and control health care spending&mdash;and the Affordable Care Act is making it easier.</p> <p><strong>The Cost of Chronic Disease and the Benefits of Workplace Wellness</strong></p> <p>HHS reports that the cost of treatment for those with chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, strokes, and diabetes accounts for over 75% of our annual medical care costs.&nbsp; In addition to these direct costs, the indirect costs associated with poor health --such as worker absenteeism, reduced productivity, and disability -- may be significantly higher.&nbsp; According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these productivity losses due to personal and family health issues can cost U.S. businesses $1,685 per employee per year, or $225.8 billion annually.</p> <p>So how can you help your employees protect against illness, while also ramping up your workplace productivity?</p> <p>Workplace wellness programs can help promote healthy behaviors and improve employees&rsquo; health-related knowledge.&nbsp; They also help employees get important health screenings, immunizations, and follow-up care.&nbsp; Implementing and promoting workplace wellness programs such as those that reward employees for achieving targeted health-related standards can help improve the health of America&rsquo;s workforce and reduce long-run costs.</p> <p><strong>New Incentives for Workplace Wellness Programs under the Affordable Care Act</strong></p> <p>The Affordable Care Act creates new incentives to promote employer wellness programs and encourage employers to take more opportunities to support healthier workplaces.&nbsp; Health-contingent wellness programs generally require individuals to meet a specific standard related to their health to obtain a reward, such as programs that provide a reward to employees who don&rsquo;t use, or decrease their use of, tobacco, and programs that reward employees who achieve a specified level or lower cholesterol.&nbsp;</p> <p>Under finalized rules that take effect on January 1, 2014, the maximum reward to employers using a health-contingent wellness program will increase from 20 percent to 30 percent of the cost of health coverage.&nbsp;</p> <p>Additionally, under the final rules, the maximum reward for programs designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use will be as much as 50 percent.&nbsp; The rules also allow for flexibility in the types of wellness programs employers can offer.&nbsp; More information on the <a href="http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/2013/13-1079-NAT.html">finalized rules</a> is available from HHS and the U.S. Departments of Labor and Treasury.</p> <p><strong>Workplace Wellness How-To&rsquo;s and Resources </strong></p> <p>To help you get started, or to expand your workplace wellness program, the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/hwi/index.htm">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a> has a great set of online resources, including <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/hwi/toolkits/index.htm">toolkits</a>, tips on <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/hwi/programdesign/index.htm">program design</a>, and a &ldquo;<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/hwi/resources/index.htm">one-stop</a>&rdquo; shop for online program resources.</p> <p>To view the final rules related to new incentives for employer wellness programs under the Affordable Care Act, click <a href="http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/workplacewellnessstudyfinalrule.pdf">here</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>For more information about preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act such as blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, mammograms, colonoscopies, screenings for osteoporosis and more, go to <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/preventive-care/index.html">http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/preventive-care/index.html</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/workplace-wellness-improving-health-and-c#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/653521 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Tue, 04 Jun 2013 20:31:23 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 653521 at http://www.sba.gov Myth vs. Fact: Myth #2: My State Isn’t Setting Up a Marketplace So The Affordable Care Act Doesn’t Affect Me http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/myth-vs-fact-myth-2-my-state-isn%E2%80%99t-settin <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a business owner, it&rsquo;s important to understand how the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/healthcare">Affordable Care Act</a>&nbsp;may affect your business. However, with so many misconceptions about how the Affordable Care Act works, this can be difficult.&nbsp;</p> <p>As part of our ongoing blog series, &ldquo;Myth vs. Fact: The Affordable Care Act and Small Business,&rdquo; this week we&rsquo;re debunking another common myth: <strong>If my business is located in a state that isn&rsquo;t establishing a state-based Marketplace, the Affordable Care Act doesn&rsquo;t have any impact on me.</strong></p> <p><strong>Fact: </strong>Every state will have an Affordable Insurance Exchange, or <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/small-businesses/index.html">Marketplace</a>, beginning in January 2014.&nbsp; States have the option of running their own Marketplace, partnering with the <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/">U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)</a> to partially run the Marketplace, or opting for a Marketplace run by HHS. &nbsp;</p> <p>More than half of states have decided to run all or part of their Marketplaces in 2014. Specifically, <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/about/state-marketplace/index.html">seventeen states</a> and the District of Columbia have chosen to establish their own Marketplace and, <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/about/state-marketplace/index.html">seven additional states</a> have opted to partner with the federal government to establish a Marketplace.&nbsp; States have the opportunity to choose to run more of their Marketplaces in each year following 2014.</p> <p><strong>Will the insurance options be different in a state-based Marketplace versus a federally-facilitated Marketplace?&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>We don&rsquo;t expect there to be a difference since the <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/small-businesses/index.html">Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP),</a> which is part of the new Marketplace, will operate in all states.&nbsp; Small employers in <u>all</u> states will be able to compare a range of insurance options for their employees based on price, benefits, quality, and other criteria that may be important to them.&nbsp; This is true whether a business is exploring options for coverage in a state-based Marketplace or a federally-facilitated Marketplace. Also, every health insurance plan in the new Marketplace will offer coverage of &ldquo;essential health benefits&rdquo; like hospitalizations, doctor services, prescription drugs, rehabilitation and mental health services, pregnancy, and newborn care.&nbsp; Some employers may even be eligible for tax credits for their premium contributions.</p> <p>In 2014, employers will be able to choose a plan, from a variety of Marketplace options, to offer their employees.&nbsp; In states like California in 2014 and in all states starting in 2015, employers will be able to choose a variety of plans to offer to their employees&mdash;empowering each employee to choose the plan that best suits his or her needs.</p> <p>Although we have heard some claims that the opening of the SHOP marketplaces will be delayed, this is not the case&mdash;these marketplaces will open for enrollment, as planned, on the first of October.</p> <p>You can learn more about the Marketplaces by visiting <a href="http://www.HealthCare.gov">www.HealthCare.gov</a>. Business owners should continue to check back between now and October 1, 2013 (when enrollment opens) to see the status of the SHOP Marketplace and coverage options in their state.</p> <p>To view all state-based Marketplace websites, visit <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/about/state-marketplace/index.html">http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/about/state-marketplace/index.html</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Small businesses can also sign up for email and text alerts at <a href="https://signup.healthcare.gov/?x=114&amp;y=17">www.signup.healthcare.gov</a> to stay connected with the latest information about the Marketplace in their area.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/myth-vs-fact-myth-2-my-state-isn%E2%80%99t-settin#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/634041 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Wed, 22 May 2013 05:37:32 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 634041 at http://www.sba.gov A Simpler Way to Apply for Health Care http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/simpler-way-apply-health-care <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Note:</strong> This blog is&nbsp;by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services and first appeared at <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/blog/2013/04/marketplace-application.html">Healthcare.gov</a> on April 30.</p> <p>Today, we take one more step toward meeting the promise of helping millions of Americans access quality, affordable health coverage.</p> <p>We have finalized the application you can complete later this year to learn what health insurance programs you are eligible for and the discounts to help pay for it.&nbsp; Starting in October, it will be the one application you can use to apply for the new&nbsp;<a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/index.html">Health Insurance Marketplace</a>, Medicaid, the Children&rsquo;s Health Insurance Program, and tax credits that will help pay for premiums.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m also pleased to say the application has been simplified and significantly shortened.&nbsp; The application for individuals is three pages, and the application for families is reduced by two-thirds, to seven pages. This is much shorter than industry standards for health insurance applications today.</p> <p>Whether you choose to use this application to apply for coverage online, by phone, or on paper, the Health Insurance Marketplace will give you better options than they have today &ndash; with one destination to apply and many resources to get help.&nbsp; In-person counselors and a toll free phone line will be available to help you through every step of the process.&nbsp;</p> <p>The online application that will go live on Healthcare.gov when the Health Insurance Marketplace opens for enrollment on October 1, can be found here:&nbsp;<a href="http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/other/index.html#hie">http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/other/index.html#hie</a></p> <p><em>You can sign up to learn more and get ready to enroll at</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="http://signup.healthcare.gov/">signup.healthcare.gov</a>.</em></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/simpler-way-apply-health-care#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/610421 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Tue, 07 May 2013 17:38:42 +0000 ngoriel 610421 at http://www.sba.gov 7 Key Terms in the Affordable Care Act that Small Businesses Should Know http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/7-key-terms-affordable-care-act-small-bus <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/index.html">Affordable Care Act</a> includes new health care reform terms used to describe parts of the law that affect small business.&nbsp; Understanding what these terms mean can help both self-employed individuals and small employers better navigate the law and take advantage of reforms that are helping to lower premium costs and increase access to quality, affordable health insurance.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Here are seven terms in the Affordable Care Act that small businesses should know.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>1.<strong>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Affordable Insurance Exchange </strong></p> <p>Also known as the health insurance &ldquo;Marketplace,&rdquo; the <strong>Affordable Insurance Exchange</strong> is a new transparent, competitive insurance marketplace where individuals and small businesses can purchase affordable and qualified health benefit plans. &nbsp;The Marketplace for small employers, known as the <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/small-businesses/index.html">Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)</a>, and the Individual Marketplace for consumers and those who are self-employed, will open in all states on January 1, 2014. Enrollment begins on October 1, 2013. To get the latest updates on enrollment, <a href="https://signup.healthcare.gov/?email=Email+Address&amp;x=178&amp;y=16">sign up for email and text alerts today.</a></p> <p>2.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Employer Shared Responsibility </strong></p> <p>Although employers are not required to provide health coverage to their employees under the Affordable Care Act, employers of a certain size will be subject to the <strong>Employer Shared Responsibility</strong> provision of the law.&nbsp; Under this provision, beginning in 2014, business owners with at least 50 full-time or full-time equivalent (FTE) employees that do not offer health coverage to their full-time employees may be subject to a shared responsibility payment under the health care law.&nbsp; A full-time employee is generally one who is employed an average of 30 or more hours per week.&nbsp; Businesses with fewer than 50 full-time or FTE employees are generally not affected by these provisions.&nbsp; To assist you, the IRS has developed a helpful set of <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Questions-and-Answers-on-Employer-Shared-Responsibility-Provisions-Under-the-Affordable-Care-Act">Q&amp;As</a>.</p> <p>3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Essential Health Benefits</strong></p> <p>The Affordable Care Act ensures that health plans offered in the individual and small group markets, both inside and outside of the health insurance Marketplace, offer a comprehensive package of items and services, known as <strong>essential health benefits. &nbsp;</strong>Essential health benefits must include services within at least ten core categories, among them emergency services; maternity and newborn care; prescription drugs; and preventive and wellness services.&nbsp; For more information on these requirements, visit <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/e/essential.html">healthcare.gov</a>.</p> <p>4.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Individual Shared Responsibility</strong></p> <p>The <strong>Individual Shared Responsibility </strong>provision of the law applies to the self-employed and requires that each individual, beginning in January 2014, have basic health insurance coverage (known as <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision">minimum essential coverage</a>) for each month, qualify for an exemption, or make a payment when filing a federal income tax return starting in 2015. &nbsp;Individuals will not have to make a payment under these rules if coverage is unaffordable, you spend less than three consecutive months without coverage, or you qualify for an exemption for several other reasons, including hardship and religious beliefs.&nbsp; To learn more, refer to this <a href="http://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/Fact-Sheet-on-Proposed-Affordable-Care-Act-Regulations.aspx" title="Fact Sheet">Fact Sheet</a>&nbsp;from the U.S. Department of Treasury, as well as these <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision" title="Questions and Answers">Q&amp;As</a>, or consult with your tax professional.</p> <p>5.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Premium Tax Credits</strong></p> <p>When enrollment through the health insurance Marketplace starts in October 2013, consumers and self-employed individuals may be eligible for a new kind of tax credit you can use right away to lower what you pay for your monthly health plan premiums.&nbsp; &nbsp;Individuals who qualify can take the<strong> premium tax credit</strong> in the form of advance payments to lower their monthly health plan premiums starting in 2014, which can help make insurance more affordable.&nbsp; The value of the tax credit you&rsquo;re eligible for depends on how much income your or your family expects to earn.&nbsp; Visit <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/costs/tax-credits/index.html">healthcare.gov</a> to learn more.</p> <p>6.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Small Business Health Care Tax Credits</strong></p> <p>Although the Affordable Care Act does not require that businesses provide health insurance, it does offer <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Small-Business-Health-Care-Tax-Credit-for-Small-Employers">tax credits</a> for eligible small businesses that choose to provide insurance to their employees for the first time, or maintain the coverage they already have.&nbsp; To qualify for a <strong>small business health care tax credit</strong> of up to 35%, you must have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees, pay average annual wages below $50,000, and contribute 50% or more toward your employees&rsquo; self-only health insurance premiums. &nbsp;&nbsp;In 2014, this tax credit goes up to 50% and is available to qualified small businesses that purchase coverage in the <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/small-businesses/index.html">Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)</a> Marketplace.</p> <p>7. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Wellness Programs</strong></p> <p>A <strong>wellness program</strong> is defined as a program intended to improve and promote health and fitness that is typically offered through the workplace, although insurance plans can offer them directly to their enrollees. &nbsp;The program allows employers or plans to offer employees premium discounts, cash rewards, gym memberships, and other incentives to participate.&nbsp; The Affordable Care Act creates new incentives to promote employer wellness programs and encourage opportunities to support healthier workplaces.&nbsp; To learn more, visit <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2012/11/wellness11202012a.html">healthcare.gov</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>For more information and an extensive list of key terms under the health care law, consult this <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/a/">glossary</a> provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and visit <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/">www.healthcare.gov</a>.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/7-key-terms-affordable-care-act-small-bus#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/585521 Health Care Business Pulse Managing SBA News and Views Starting Tue, 23 Apr 2013 23:47:02 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 585521 at http://www.sba.gov Tax Season Savings! Reminder: How to Claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/tax-season-savings-reminder-how-claim-small-business-health-care-tax-credit <p><img alt="IRS Form 8941" src="/sites/default/files/images/Form8941.JPG" style="width: 425px; height: 78px; float: right;" title="IRS Form 8941" />One of the ways in which the Affordable Care Act helps bring down costs for small employers is through the tax credit available to eligible small businesses that provide health care insurance to their employees. The credit significantly offsets the cost of providing insurance and with the 2012 tax filing deadline fast approaching, you don&rsquo;t want to let this valuable tax break pass you by. &nbsp;Here&rsquo;s what you need to know about eligibility and how to claim the credit:</p> <p><strong>What is the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit?</strong></p> <p>Currently the maximum tax credit is 35 percent for small business employers and 25 percent for small tax-exempt employers (e.g., charities and non-profits). This percentage applies to tax years 2010 through 2013. Even better &ndash; in 2014 the credit will increase to 50 percent for eligible small business employers and to 35 percent for tax-exempt employers through the new&nbsp;<a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/small-businesses/index.html" title="Link to Small Business Health Options Program">Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)</a>&nbsp;Marketplaces (also known as Exchanges).</p> <p>The credit can also be carried back or forward to other tax years. Also, since the amount of the health insurance premium payments are more than the total credit, eligible small businesses can still claim a business expense deduction for the premiums in excess of the credit. That&rsquo;s both a credit and a deduction for employee premium payments.</p> <p>So what does this mean for you? The IRS website offers <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/small_business_health_care_tax_credit_scenarios.pdf" title="Examples of how health care credit works">some examples</a> of how the credit works in a variety of circumstances.</p> <p><strong>Who Qualifies for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit?</strong></p> <p>To qualify for the credit, you must meet the following criteria:</p> <ul> <li> You must cover at least 50 percent of the cost of single (not family) health care coverage for each of your employees</li> <li> You must have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees (two half-time workers count as one full-timer)</li> <li> Those employees must have average wages of less than $50,000 a year</li> </ul> <p>To help determine whether you qualify for the credit, follow this <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/3_simple_steps.pdf" title="How to cliam the health care small business credit">step-by-step guide</a> from the IRS.</p> <p><strong>How to Claim the Credit</strong></p> <p>First you&rsquo;ll need to calculate the credit, use IRS <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8941.pdf" title="IRS Form 8941">Form 8941</a> to help you with this step. Then include the credit amount as part of the general business credit on your income tax return. Remember, you may be able to carry the credit back or forward.&nbsp; Talk to your tax advisor for more assistance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/tax-season-savings-reminder-how-claim-small-business-health-care-tax-credit#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/563621 Health Care Business Pulse Business Laws Managing Taxes Mon, 08 Apr 2013 11:41:53 +0000 Caron_Beesley 563621 at http://www.sba.gov A Healthy Choice For America’s Small Businesses http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/healthy-choice-america%E2%80%99s-small-businesses <p>Small businesses are the backbone of our communities. And, in an economy where small businesses create two-thirds of jobs, owners and employees deserve a health insurance market with fairer prices, better choices, and greater certainty. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, that market is on its way.</p> <p>In recent years, the number one concern for millions of small business owners has been health care. Because they had less bargaining power, small businesses paid an average of 18% more for the same health insurance plan offered to their bigger competitors.</p> <p>As America&rsquo;s economy continues to get stronger, small businesses across the country are playing a critical role in creating jobs, driving innovation and fostering economic growth.&nbsp; Now, more than ever, they need every tool available to help their businesses grow and thrive&mdash;including a way to give their employees access to quality, affordable health insurance.&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2014, employers will be able to choose a plan through a new Health Insurance Marketplace and in 2015 and beyond, employers will be able to let their employees choose from a number of plans.</p> <p><strong><u>Marketplaces</u></strong></p> <p>Beginning in 2014, small business owners will have access to a Marketplace&mdash;which opens for enrollment on October 1st&mdash;that will allow them to make side-by-side comparisons to find a plan that fits their budget and that&rsquo;s right for their businesses and employees.</p> <p>Each Marketplace will operate a Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, focused just on small businesses, where employers will be able to choose from a range of affordable plans to offer their employees. &nbsp;In 2014, employers will be able to choose a plan, from a variety of Marketplace options, to offer their employees.&nbsp; In States like California in 2014 and in all States starting in 2015, employers will be able to choose a variety of plans to offer to their employees&mdash;empowering each employee to choose the plan that best suits his or her needs.</p> <p>Although we have heard some claims that the opening of our SHOP marketplaces will be delayed, this is not the case&mdash;these marketplaces will open for enrollment, as planned, on the first of October. &nbsp;</p> <p>With SHOP, every small business owner will be able to:</p> <ul> <li> Access a single place to learn about health insurance and get accurate information on different plans;</li> <li> Make apples-to-apples comparisons of the prices and benefits of private insurance plans for their employees; and,</li> <li> Use their existing insurance broker to access the SHOP, or shop for plans themselves, without a broker&mdash;choosing a plan that works for their budget, their business, and their employees.</li> </ul> <p>You can learn more about the Marketplaces by visiting <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/" title="website" type="website">www.HealthCare.gov</a>.</p> <p><strong><u>Tax Credits</u></strong></p> <p>Small businesses are also seeing savings thanks to new tax credits available to help them cover their employees.</p> <p>Many small businesses with fewer than 25 employees have already received a tax credit of up to 35% of their health insurance costs. And beginning in 2014, this tax credit will go up to 50%. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong><u>Increased Transparency</u></strong></p> <p>Insurance companies must now publicly justify every rate increase of 10% or more, which has led to a sharp decline in double-digit rate hikes. The proportion of double-digit rate hike requests plummeted from 75% in 2010 to 14% so far in 2013.&nbsp; Starting in 2014, insurers will have to transparently report every proposed rate increase, even if it&rsquo;s a 1% bump.&nbsp;</p> <p>Additional rules require insurers to spend at least 80% of small employer premium dollars on employees&rsquo; actual health benefits, instead of the insurer&rsquo;s own administrative costs.&nbsp; These limits, along with those in the individual market, have already resulted in more than $1 billion being returned to business owners and other consumers.</p> <p>By making the health insurance market work better for America&rsquo;s small businesses, the Affordable Care Act will help our small business owners and entrepreneurs get back to the business of being in business, and focus on what they do best: delivering great products and services, creating jobs, and growing our economy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/healthy-choice-america%E2%80%99s-small-businesses#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/561681 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Fri, 05 Apr 2013 15:58:07 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 561681 at http://www.sba.gov Affordable Care Act, Jobs, and Employer-Sponsored Insurance: A Look at the Evidence http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/affordable-care-act-jobs-and-employer-spo <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Note: This article is by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services and was first published on the official blog of <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/blog/2013/03/jobs-and-cost.html" title="website" type="website">healthcare.gov</a>&nbsp;on March 15, 2013.</strong></span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 0.8125em; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 1em 0px; color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, san-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, health care cost growth has been lower than in the past &ndash; and lower than was projected when the law passed almost three years ago.</span></span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 0.8125em; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 1em 0px; color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, san-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Private health insurance premium growth per person was slower than overall economic growth in 2011, and a new survey by Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health found that the growth in employers&rsquo; costs for employee health benefits in 2012 was at its lowest in 15 years.</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 0.8125em; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 1em 0px; color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, san-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Also, a recent&nbsp;<a class="APEdocument APEexternal" href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2013/03/04/health-care-spending-growth-slows/1963165/" style="color: rgb(125, 80, 142);">indepth analysis</a>&nbsp;by&nbsp;<em>USA Today</em>&nbsp;found that, &ldquo;cost-saving measures under the health care law appear to be keeping medical prices flat.&rdquo;</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 0.8125em; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 1em 0px; color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, san-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">But ever since the health care law was debated in Congress, we have seen a lot of misinformation, which often leads to misunderstanding of the law itself and how it benefits consumers and businesses, both large and small.</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 0.8125em; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 1em 0px; color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, san-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">For example, back in October 2010, the&nbsp;<em>Beige Book</em>&nbsp;from the Federal Reserve reported that some employers anticipated increased costs of employee benefits immediately as a result of health care reform, and last week&rsquo;s<em>Beige Book</em>&nbsp;has been cited by some long-time critics as suggesting jobs are not being created because of employers&rsquo; uncertainty about how the law will affect them.</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 0.8125em; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 1em 0px; color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, san-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">However, when assessing the impact on labor markets, there is both analytical and anecdotal evidence that tells the real story. For example, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the reduction in labor would be minimal&mdash;at roughly&nbsp;<a class="APEdownload APEexternal" href="http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/119xx/doc11945/usc10-22-10.pdf" style="color: rgb(125, 80, 142);">half a percent</a>&mdash;and would result almost exclusively from employees deciding to retire early or voluntarily work fewer hours.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 0.8125em; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 1em 0px; color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, san-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">There is also a real-life example of how a similar law affected the labor market.&nbsp; The experience in Massachusetts is consistent with the CBO projections.&nbsp;&nbsp;<a class="APEdownload APEexternal" href="http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/412582-Will-Health-Reform-Lead-to-Job-Loss-Evidence-from-Massachusetts-Says-No.pdf" style="color: rgb(125, 80, 142);">Studies</a>&nbsp;found no negative impact on the labor force in the State after it implemented similar reforms in 2006.&nbsp; In fact, there may have been a shift toward full-time work as workers sought to gain access to their employers&rsquo; plans to avoid the individual responsibility penalty in the State.</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 0.8125em; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 1em 0px; color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, san-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">And, last week&rsquo;s job report suggests that private job growth is strong.&nbsp; The economy has added private sector jobs for 36 straight months, for a total of nearly 6.4 million jobs during that period.&nbsp; The service sector &ndash; the source of many of the questions about the health care law &ndash; led the way in monthly job creation in February.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 0.8125em; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 1em 0px; color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, san-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">In addition, some initial statements made by CEOs about scaling back full-time workers have now been reversed.&nbsp; For example, the CEOs of chains such as Applebee&rsquo;s and&nbsp;<a class="APEdocument APEexternal" href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-h-schnatter/papa-johns-obamacare_b_2166209.html" style="color: rgb(125, 80, 142);">Papa John&rsquo;s Pizza</a>&nbsp;have called their earlier statements about reducing hours premature.&nbsp; The CEO of&nbsp;<a class="APEdocument APEexternal" href="http://investor.darden.com/investors/news-releases/press-release-details/2012/Darden-Provides-Update-on-its-Restaurant-Staffing-Plans-Under-Healthcare-Reform-Company-Announces-Commitments-to-its-Current-/default.aspx" style="color: rgb(125, 80, 142);">Darden</a>, owner of chains like the Olive Garden, stated: &ldquo;As we think about healthcare reform, while many of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act&rsquo;s rules and regulations have yet to be finalized, we are pleased we know enough at this point to make firm and hopefully reassuring commitments to our full-time employees.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 0.8125em; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 1em 0px; color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, san-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Over time, many provisions of the health care law will work to create a more efficient, higher quality health care system and slow the growth of health care.&nbsp; This is not just good for the health system, but it is good for American jobs and the economy.&nbsp;</span></span></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/affordable-care-act-jobs-and-employer-spo#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/556481 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Tue, 02 Apr 2013 23:46:30 +0000 ngoriel 556481 at http://www.sba.gov Self-Employed? Learn What the Affordable Care Act Means for You http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/self-employed-learn-what-affordable-care- <p>Many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act affect small businesses differently depending on their size.&nbsp; For self-employed individuals in particular, there are new options for health coverage and other changes under the health care law that will directly affect you in the coming months.</p> <p><strong>New Options for Health Coverage through the Affordable Insurance Marketplaces </strong></p> <p>Under the Affordable Care Act, self-employed business owners now have more options than ever to find affordable health coverage. &nbsp;Beginning in January 2014, self-employed individuals and other consumers will be able to purchase their insurance through new <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/index.html" title="health insurance marketplaces" type="health insurance marketplaces">Health Insurance Marketplaces</a> (also referred to as Exchanges).</p> <p>Health insurance plans offered in these new insurance Marketplaces will offer a core package of benefits, known as &ldquo;essential health benefits.&rdquo;&nbsp; The plans may&nbsp;vary according to the percentage of costs the health plan covers, or &ldquo;metal levels&rdquo;: 60 percent for a bronze plan, 70 percent for a silver plan, 80 percent for a gold plan, and 90 percent coverage for a platinum plan. Issuers may offer catastrophic-only coverage, which includes free prevention and several primary care visits, to young adults among others.</p> <p>Self-employed individuals may qualify for <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/costs/tax-credits/index.html">premium tax credits</a> and cost-sharing reductions on a sliding scale, based on income, to purchase coverage in the Marketplace. Increased access to quality, affordable health care will make it easier for potential entrepreneurs to go out on their own instead of staying at larger firms simply because of &quot;job lock&rdquo; or the lack of access to affordable insurance outside of work.</p> <p>For more information on individual tax credits offered through the Marketplaces and to stay connected with the latest information visit<a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/"> healthcare.gov.</a></p> <p><strong>Find Insurance Options Today</strong></p> <p>To find an insurance plan that meets your needs today, check out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) <a href="http://finder.healthcare.gov/">insurance finder tool</a>.&nbsp; By answering just a few simple questions, you&rsquo;ll be able to locate health insurance plans in your state and explore whether there are local facilities in your area that provide free or reduced-cost health care.&nbsp;</p> <p>To learn more about health insurance available to self-employed individuals, visit <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/using-insurance/employers/self-employed/index.html">healthcare.gov</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>New Insurance Coverage Requirements: Individual Shared Responsibility </strong></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/self-employed">Individual Shared Responsibility</a> provisions of the Affordable Care Act call for each individual, beginning in 2014, to have:</p> <ul> <li> Basic health insurance coverage (known as minimum essential coverage) for each month,</li> <li> Qualify for an exemption, or</li> <li> Make an Individual Shared Responsibility payment when filing a federal income tax return starting in 2015. &nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision">Minimum essential coverage</a> includes employer-sponsored coverage, coverage purchased in the individual market, Medicare, Medicaid coverage, Children&#39;s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, veteran&rsquo;s health coverage, TRICARE, and others as identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.</p> <p>Individuals will not have to make a payment under the Individual Shared Responsibility provisions if:</p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 38.25pt;"> Coverage is unaffordable</li> <li style="margin-left: 38.25pt;"> They spend less than three consecutive months without coverage</li> <li style="margin-left: 38.25pt;"> They qualify for an exemption for several other reasons, including hardship and religious beliefs.</li> </ul> <p>To learn what &nbsp;Individual Shared Responsibility requirements and exemptions may apply to you, refer to this <a href="http://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/Fact-Sheet-on-Proposed-Affordable-Care-Act-Regulations.aspx" title="Fact Sheet">Fact Sheet</a>&nbsp;from the U.S. Department of Treasury, as well as these helpful <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision" title="Questions and Answers">Q&amp;As</a>&nbsp;from the Internal Revenue Service, or consult with your tax professional.</p> <p>For more information about other provisions affecting self-employed business owners under the Affordable Care Act, go to <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/self-employed">sba.gov/healthcare</a>.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/self-employed-learn-what-affordable-care-#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/543271 Health Care Business Pulse Managing SBA News and Views Tue, 19 Mar 2013 16:52:06 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 543271 at http://www.sba.gov How to Take Advantage of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/how-take-advantage-small-business-health- <p>As the tax filing deadline approaches, we know that many small business owners are looking for ways to save money as they prepare to file their tax returns. &nbsp;Although the Affordable Care Act does not require that businesses provide health insurance, it does offer tax credits for eligible small businesses that choose to provide insurance to their employees for the first time, or maintain the coverage they already have.</p> <p><strong>Does My Business Qualify for the Health Care Tax Credit?</strong></p> <p>Through 2013, to qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 35% (up to 25% for non-profits) of your premium contributions, you must have all of these criteria:</p> <ul> <li> Fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees</li> <li> Pay average annual wages below $50,000</li> <li> Contribute 50% or more toward your employees&rsquo; self-only health insurance premiums</li> </ul> <p>Beginning in 2014, this tax credit increases to 50% (35% for non-profits) and will be available to small businesses who meet the criteria listed above and who purchase coverage through the new <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/small-businesses/index.html" title="website" type="website">Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)</a> Marketplaces (also known as Exchanges).&nbsp; This enhanced credit can be claimed for any two consecutive taxable years beginning in 2014 (or beginning in a later year) through the SHOP.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>If you need assistance determining whether your small business or tax exempt organization qualifies for the credit, the IRS offers a helpful <a href="http://www.irs.gov/file_source/pub/irs-utl/3_simple_steps.pdf">step-by-step guide</a>.</p> <p><strong>Who Will the Small Business Tax Credit Help Most?</strong></p> <p>While any business meeting the above standards may be eligible to receive a tax credit of up to 35% (25% for non-profits), the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit works on a sliding scale and is specifically targeted for those businesses with low- and moderate-income workers.&nbsp;</p> <p>For this reason, to qualify for the maximum small business tax credit, you must contribute at least 50% toward your employees&rsquo; self-only premium costs and meet the following two standards:</p> <ul> <li> 10 or fewer full-time employees</li> <li> Annual average wages at or below $25,000</li> </ul> <p><strong>How Do I Claim the Tax Credit?</strong></p> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve determined that you qualify for the credit, your tax professional and the IRS can help guide you through the necessary steps to claim the credit which include:</p> <ul> <li> Check with your tax professional; even if you are a small business employer who did not owe tax during the year, you may be able to carry the credit back or forward to other tax years. &nbsp;And if you are a tax-exempt employer, you may be eligible for a refundable credit.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <ul> <li> Use &nbsp;<a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8941.pdf">Form 8941</a>, Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums, to calculate the credit. &nbsp;It&rsquo;s also important to know that eligible small employers can still claim a business expense deduction for the remainder of their premium contributions.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> This is a federal tax credit.&nbsp; Check to see if your state has additional health care tax credits available to small employers.</li> </ul> <p>More information about the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Small-Business-Health-Care-Tax-Credit-for-Small-Employers">Small Business Health Care Tax Credit</a> is available from the IRS. You can also refer to IRS&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Small-Business-Health-Care-Tax-Credit:-Questions-and-Answers">Questions and Answers</a> for more details about the credit.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse/how-take-advantage-small-business-health-#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/519291 Health Care Business Pulse SBA News and Views Taxes Tue, 05 Mar 2013 17:19:13 +0000 Meredith K. Olafson 519291 at http://www.sba.gov