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Published on April 24th, 2014 | by Anica O

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5 Ways Healthcare Reform Will Change Small Business

There has been a significant restructuring in how businesses are classified in the wake of healthcare reform. Under the new laws, many smaller business will receive larger tax credits. The changes will also bring about more penalties and increased costs, though they are mostly placed on the larger firms in order to draw incentive. They will now be required to buy insurance for any full time employees or else face a penalty. There should also be an increased buying potential due to the marketplace. There will undoubtedly be big changes in how businesses are structured in regards to how their employees are hired.

Classifications

Businesses have been reclassified into four different groups. The first group consists of those who are self-employed. The next tier will be those businesses that employ less than twenty-five employees. Then up to fifty employees. This covers a large percentage of business, and these will not be penalized as harshly as those with more. The largest businesses, those with fifty or more employees, are classified within the last group. Those in this tier will have the steepest penalties.

Tax Credits

Under the new law, the maximum amount of tax credit many small businesses can receive increases. To receive credit, the business owner must pay their employee’s premiums, which are offered through the marketplace. This credit can be given as a refund as well. These credits require that a plan be obtained through the SHOP program.

Penalties

These penalties are meant to help smaller businesses provide their employees with medical care while still being able to compete. There is also a mandate that penalizes businesses that don’t meet the requirements of the new laws by exacting a penalty called a Shared Responsibility Fee. This is meant to cause very large businesses to take the responsibility of insuring their employees.

Marketplace

As it sounds, the marketplace is for those individuals or businesses who meet certain criteria to shop around for different insurance plans so that they can find the one that best fits their needs and budget. This also includes cost assistance. This can be given to those businesses that have fifty or less full-time employees, though this number will increase incrementally in the next couple of years. One of the best benefits of the shop programs, according to a Wisconsin health care attorney, are that they cannot turn a person away due to preexisting health problems.

Employee Classification

Reporting on taxes will be different because of the classifications reported above, which may provoke some businesses to change the status of their employees. As they begin cutting down on employees to fall within certain brackets, worker’s shift times may be changed to better suit their needs.

This is just a small look at what will be different, and over the next few years more are scheduled to come. These changes will undoubtedly be difficult at first, but hopefully businesses will be able to adapt.


About the Author

A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


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