Is your small firm offering health care under Obamacare? While the new Obamacare mandates may not necessarily require your firm to offer health insurance (it's only required for those employers with 50 full-time employees or more), you may decide that you still want to.
However, if you decide to offer health care, it's best to know exactly what options you have. With that said, here are 3 things you should know about your decision to offer health care at your firm:
1. You may be eligible for a tax break.
If you opt to offer your associates, paralegals, and other staff members insurance through the Marketplace, you may be eligible for a tax break. The IRS says that small businesses, including firms, that do qualify for this credit can currently receive up to 35 percent of employee premiums paid for by the government. This credit's maximum is also set to increase to 50 percent in 2014.
In order to be eligible, though, your firm must meet the following requirements, as reported by Healthcare.gov:
- Your firm employers less than 25 full-time workers who make around $50,000 or less, annually;
- Your firm pays for at least 50 percent of your full-time associates' premium costs; and
- Your firm provides insurance coverage offered through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), which both state and federal exchanges will likely offer.
2. You don't necessarily have to go through the Exchange
Not eligible for the tax break, or just don't care to shop through the exchange? No problem. Your firm doesn't have to go through the Exchange just because the open enrollment period has begun. You can still opt to purchase health care plans for your firm through the standard private marketplace, just like how firms did before Obamacare was implemented.
3. You don't have to, period.
Remember, offering health coverage is not required under Obamacare unless you have 50 or more full-time employees. According to the Department of Labor, this means a worker who works 30 hours, on average, or more per week. So, if you have less than 50 employees, and don't care to offer, then don't. You're fine.
However, remember that all firms, no matter how many employees are employed, need to have their "Obamacare" letters sent out by October 1 and within 14 days to any new hires. So, get those out, and make sure to have them out to new staff and associates who are starting soon, as well.
- Young and Healthy? Should You Opt-In or Opt-Out of Obamacare? (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Why, What and How: Employee Wellness Programs For Your Company (FindLaw's In House Blog)
- 5 Things Corporate Counsel Need to Know About Obamacare (FindLaw's In House Blog)