Health Care Reform – What does it mean for your business?

Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed in March, we have been getting A LOT of questions from the business community about it.  So, I will attempt to explain it in a forthright fashion.   Actually, I will just sum it up briefly here.  If you want more detailed information see this fantastic article.

A brief timeline:

2010

Pre-existing conditions for children will be eliminated
Adult children up to the age of 26 (married or unmarried) can be added to their parent’s coverage
Lifetime limits will be eliminated from all health policies
Insurance companies will not be able to rescind coverage (except in cases of fraud)
Tax credits for small businesses (25 or fewer employees) are available

2011

Over the counter drugs will not be considered a ‘qualified expense’ for HSA and FSA.
The penalty for withdrawing money for non-qualified expenses will increase from 10% to 20%
Employers will have to report the value of the health care coverage provided to each employee on his/her W-2

2013

Employers will have to notify employees about the Health Insurance Exchange (which will be opened by the States in 2014)
Health FSA’s will be limited to $2500

2014 – The Big Year

Individuals will be required to have health insurance or pay a penalty
There will be no pre-existing condition criteria for anyone and all health insurance will be guaranteed issue (you can’t be turned down)
Employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees will have to offer health insurance or pay a penalty
Employers with more than 200 employees will have to automatically enroll employees into the company health plan (with an opt-out option)
Employers can give ‘qualified employees’ (those earning less than 400% of the poverty level) vouchers to buy insurance in the exchange

These are just a few of the provisions that will have an effect on businesses. If you would like more information or have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

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