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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Health Care Marketplace for Small Businesses: FAQ

I already provide insurance for the 24 employees of my art-supply company now. Can I keep offering the plans we have now?

Yes, you can continue to offer your current health plans to your employees. These plans won't need to offer some of the new benefits that are required by the health reform law if they are "grandfathered." Your company's plans will be considered "grandfathered" if they existed on March 23, 2010.

However, there are situations that could make the health plan you offer lose its "grandfathered" status. For example, if the plan makes major changes, such as significantly cutting benefits or raising the premium, it will lose its "grandfathered" status.

I run a funeral home with six employees. Can I get any help from the government for paying their premiums?

Yes, you can get tax credits to help pay for premiums, but you have to meet certain conditions.

You can get tax credits if:

  • Your business has fewer than 25 full-time employees.
  • Your workers' average wages are less than $50,000 per year.
  • Your business contributes at least 50% of the cost of a premium for an individual plan in a Marketplace.

Through the end of 2013 you may be eligible for a tax credit of up to 35% of the amount your business contributes to your employees. Starting in 2014, you can get a tax credit for up to 50% of that amount.

For example, in 2013, if your company's contribution to your workers' health insurance plans is $70,000, you can get a tax credit of $24,500. Starting in 2014, if you contribute the same amount for your workers' health plans, you can get a tax credit of $35,000.

I'm on the fence about whether I should provide insurance for the employees of my small printing shop or let them buy it on their own. Why should I offer it?

Here are some benefits of offering health insurance to your employees:

  • It can help you attract and keep good workers who might otherwise go to a competitor who offers health insurance.
  • Health coverage can help keep your workers healthier and more productive.

One of my employees has had cancer. Will this affect my ability to get insurance for my small business?

No. Insurance companies can't deny coverage to your business due to the health of an employee or a family member. And if someone who's covered develops a serious condition later, your insurer can't cancel your plan.

In the past, if you had an employee who was seriously ill, the premiums in your company's health plan might've gone up. Starting in 2014, health insurance plans can't raise premiums based on the health of anyone in your company.

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