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Obamacare… Let’s Get to The Point!

These days, everyone has questions about healthcare reform. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions and simple, to-the-point answers.

1. I own a business and have less than 50 employees. Am I required to provide health insurance? No, the mandatory coverage rule applies only to companies which employ more than 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees.

A full-time employee is defined as an employee who works an average of 30 hours per week.
A full-time equivalent employee is actually two or more part-time workers whose combined hours per week add up to a single full time employee (30 hours per week).

If your company employs less than 50 workers as defined above it will be exempt from this rule in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

2. What is a health insurance exchange? Beginning in 2014, individuals and businesses with fewer than 100 employees can shop for health insurance through Health Insurance Exchanges. These exchanges are being established to allow small businesses and individuals to join together with multiple insurance companies to obtain potentially better prices and standardized plan options. In the Exchanges, which are being established on a state by state basis, individuals will also be able to determine whether they are eligible for a government subsidy to help pay for their premiums. Health insurance reform laws require states to have these Exchanges in effect by 2014, with the option to set the group size maximum at 50 in 2014-2015 and then increase to 100 in 2016.

3. I own a small business and offer health insurance to my employees. Am I eligible for a tax credit? You might be eligible for a credit, provided your business meets certain criteria. You must employ fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees who average less than $50,000/year. Note that two half-time workers equal one full-time worker. You are also required to cover at least 50% of the bill for single health care insurance for each employee.

4. Will businesses with more than 50 employees be required to offer health insurance? Yes, as of 2014, if those 50 employees are full-time or fulltime equivalent workers (defined as working an average of 30 hours or more each week). A company that does not comply with this law will face penalties in the form of a fine. The first 30 uninsured workers will be excluded, but after that the annual fine will be $2,000 per uninsured, full-time employee.

Steve Amante is the President and CEO of Amante & Associates Insurance Solutions, Inc. To learnmore about Healthcare Reform contact Steve Amante or Frank Faldmo the firm’s Employee Benefits Advisor at 951-676-8800 or visit:

Written by Steve Amante

Steve Amante is the owner of Amante & Associates Insurance Solutions, Inc. He can be reached at 951-676-8800.

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