The Small Business Health Options Program made its debut at the beginning of this month and has since caused a number of mixed reactions across the nation. The online marketplace was intended to assist small business owners with providing health insurance to their employees in an easy and cost-effective way. After experiencing many enrollment glitches since the launch of SHOP, small business owners are starting to voice their questions and concerns.
Here is some insight on some of the current factors that may affect your small business.
While the online healthcare marketplace is already available, the remainder of the Affordable Care Act policies won’t be effective until 2014 and the following year. This includes tax credit incentives for small businesses. Under the SHOP program, small businesses with less than 25 full-time employees will be eligible for tax credits of up to 50% starting at the beginning of next year.
On the other hand, small businesses with more than 50 employees will not get the same subsidies and tax credits being offered to smaller companies under the ACA. In fact, those with more than 50 employees will be required to provide insurance to employees. Those failing to do so will have to pay a penalty fee which could cost thousands of dollars per employee.
One major concern being voiced by union leaders is that the Obamacare employer mandates may cause companies to convert their workers to part-time positions because part-time employees are not required to have health insurance. Furthermore, the companies that are slightly over 50 employees may downsize in order to make the cut. The good news, however, is that these mandates have been pushed back and won’t be effective until 2015.
Further debates are questioning whether or not the ACA will truly cut costs for small businesses in the long run. It seems as though the Affordable Care Act will benefit small businesses but at the same time deter them from growing past a number of 50 employees. While the new health care initiative has rallied a lot of support, it has created even more skeptics.
Overall, the ACA offers a combination of pros and cons. The best advice I can give you is to make sure you’re informed about the ins and outs of the new healthcare policies. It is important to understand its regulations in order to make the best decision for your small business and your employees. It seems that Obamacare has the potential to really help small business owners and entrepreneurs. Perhaps they just need to clearly state the rules and regulations. What are your thoughts?
Diana is the Chief Customer Officer at Telzio and enjoys helping customers get the most out of their Telzio services.