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Small Businesses

I'm not at all satisfied with the health benefits we offer at HRP. The premiums are extremely expensive and they don't even start paying until you hit the $2,000 marker for the deductible.

Lee Taylor, HRP Distribution

Lee Taylor owns a distribution company with twenty-five employees. Lee provides a 50% subsidy for his healthcare plan, yet only 40% of his employees can afford to pay the other half. “Only 40% of my employees have enrolled in my insurance plan. The other 60% can't afford it or have it through a spouse.”

Lee would like to offer better, more affordable coverage to his employees…
Although Lee does offer health care coverage, he feels that his plan is inadequate. Lee is able to afford maternal benefits, but no dental coverage. What Lee finds most frustrating about his health care plan is the $2,000 deductible. Until his employers have reached this $2,000 marker they have to pay for their care out of pocket—in addition to 50% of the premium. Employees needing medical attention before they hit the $2,000 mark face a financial crisis.

“I would like to be able to offer better coverage, but It's extremely difficult and very costly. I'm not satisfied with this state of affairs at all. The coverage we have is extremely inadequate and for this we pay a $2,000 deductible. On top of that, the premiums are extremely expensive and they don't even start paying until you hit the $2,000 marker. For some of our employees who are only making $15,000 a year it's extremely difficult.”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Makes Health Insurance Affordable for Small Business Owners:

In 2014, the reform creates Health Insurance Exchanges, or competitive marketplaces, where small businesses and their employees, the self-employed, and the uninsured can purchase affordable coverage. For the first time, small businesses owners like Lee will be able to pool their buying power and have access to the same quality plans only available to large firms today. Through the Exchanges, small business owners and workers can do one-stop comparison shopping for an affordable plan that offers lower rates like what big businesses pay; stable pricing from year to year; lower administrative costs, and choice of quality plans for employees.

Effective immediately, Health reform provides tax credits for small businesses to help them offer exempts all small firms with fewer than 50 employees from the employer responsibility requirements that begin in 2014. employee health insurance coverage—if they choose to do so. Small businesses that provide coverage for their workers will receive immediate help with their premium costs, and additional firms that initiate coverage this year will get a tax cut as well. This sliding-scale tax credit is worth up to 35 percent of a small business’s premium costs in 2010. On January 1, 2014, this rate increases to 50 percent. Firms can claim the credit for 2010 through 2013 and for any two years after that. To qualify for the tax credit, businesses must have fewer than 25 employees and average annual wages of less than $50,000—and the full tax credit is available to those with 10 or fewer employees and average annual wages of $25,000 or less.

Starting in 2014, affordable plans in Health Insurance Exchanges will have a guaranteed set of minimum benefits—to eliminate fine print surprises that often face those who don’t have the purchasing power of a large corporation or group.

The reform This means that 96 percent of all firms in the U.S. or 5.8 million out of 6 million total firms will be exempt. Many small firms that do not currently offer coverage will be more likely to do so under reform – because of new tax credits, lower premiums, and better choices.

For those small businesses with workers who have been uninsured for several months, or denied a policy based on “pre-existing conditions,” a high risk pool will immediately offer insurance, and assistance to help pay the premiums.

Small businesses that want to promote healthy behavior have access to health plans for their workers that provide free preventive care