The Affordable Care Act & Small Business

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act or ACA) includes a variety of measures specifically for small businesses that help lower premium cost growth and increase access to quality, affordable health insurance.

Your size is a major factor in how your business will be affected by the legislation.

Follow the following links to learn what a business like yours can expect from the new rules:

I am self-employed
I have fewer than 25 employees
I have fewer than 50 employees
I have more than 50 employees

New York State of Health: The Official Health Plan Marketplace

The Exchange is an organized marketplace designed to help people shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage.   Individuals, families and small businesses will be able to use the Exchange to help them compare commercial insurance options, calculate costs and select coverage online, in person, over the phone or by mail. 

Health Care Tax Credit:

Part of the legislation includes a tax credit for small businesses that pay for their employees’ health care coverage.  Small businesses with fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees, that  pay an average wage of less than $50,000 a year, and pay at least half of employee health insurance premiums can receive a tax credit of up to 35% of premium costs in 2013.  In 2014 that credit will likely increase to 50%. 

Learn more at IRS.gov:
Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for Small Employers

Shared Responsibility Provision:

Small businesses may also need to learn about the Shared Responsibility Provision.  Starting in 2014, employers employing at least a certain number of employees (generally 50 full-time employees and full-time equivalents) will be subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions.  If these employers do not offer affordable health coverage that provides a minimum level of coverage to their full-time employees, they may be subject to an Employer Shared Responsibility payment.

Learn more:
Questions and Answers on Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions

General Assistance:

There are many tools available to help you understand the ACA. Visit the following to stay up-to-date with evolving rules and resources:

SBA: Health Care

Healthcare.gov: A federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Prepare for the Health Insurance Marketplace: Small Business

How the Health Care Law is Making a Difference for the People of New York

IRS: Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions

Your SBDC advisors are now learning about the ACA provisions that will affect NYS small businesses, and can help you understand what to expect for your small business.