Take Action Now – Important Health Insurance Topics
Nov 04, 2013
Several important health insurance related topics should be considered by individuals and employers now since compliance is required in 2014. Let’s summarize some of the important points to be aware of starting in 2014:
- Renew your current coverage early. With significant provisions of the healthcare act set to take effect on January 1, 2014 small businesses may want to renew coverage NOW in order to lock in potential lower rates. Click here to read our post on our Accountant’s Announcements blog with additional information.
2. Eligible employers must purchase health insurance through the new Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) to continue to benefit from the “Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credit.
As an employer you may have benefited from the small business health insurance tax credit for tax years 2010 through 2012 (and will in 2013) if you had fewer than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, paid average annual wages of less than $50,000 per FTE, and paid at least 50 percent of the premium for qualifying employee health insurance. In 2014 you must purchase insurance from the SHOP to get the tax credit.
The SHOP is a new program that simplifies the process of buying health insurance for your small business. It is one component of the internet-based health insurance marketplace, also known as an exchange, which launched on Oct. 1, 2013 (SHOP delayed until Nov. 1, 2013). For 2014, the SHOP Marketplace is open to employers with 50 or fewer FTEs. You can compare health plans online. With one application, you or your agent, broker, or other assistance, can compare price, coverage, and quality of plans. Health coverage through SHOP starts January 1, 2014. You decide what you’ll pay toward employee premiums, and then your employees can enroll. If you’re self-employed with no employees, you can get coverage through the individual market Health Insurance Marketplace, but not through SHOP. For more information on the SHOP Marketplace click here.
- Individuals are required to carry health insurance or face a penalty.
- Employers with more than 50 full-time employees are required to provide health insurance (though the penalties for failure to do so have been delayed until 2015).
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