Thursday, February 14, 2013

What the Affordable Care Act really means for small businesses in WA

Rep. Dawn Morrell
The coming years will bring many changes as Washington state takes the necessary steps to fully implement the Affordable Care Act. In fact, Washington is one of 21 states with approval from the federal government to move forward with our health care exchange on-time in October of this year.

This session we’ll continue this important work. Not only is it the fiscally responsible thing to do- it’s the right thing to do for families, businesses and public health. In the House, these efforts are being led by Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Chair Dawn Morrell and Health Care and Wellness Chair Eileen Cody.

Rep. Eileen Cody
However, these changes have resulted in some misinformation and confusion surrounding the ACA reforms- especially with regards to small business (businesses with less than 50 employees).
Thankfully, we’ve got Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler to clear up the confusion. He outlines what reforms that have already gone into effect and what we can expect in coming years.

 ACA reforms already in place:

  • Tax credits of 35 percent if you offer health insurance, have fewer than 25 full-time workers, and you pay an average annual wage of $50,000.
  • In 2014, that tax credit goes up to 50 percent.

What’s coming in 2014:
  • If you have fewer than 50 employees, you’re not required to offer them health insurance. However, if you choose to offer health insurance, you could qualify for a tax rebate.
  • All health plans must cover essential benefits.
  • You can shop online for coverage through Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange and enjoy greater purchasing power, similar to large employers.
For a complete list of what health care reform means for individuals, families, seniors and large businesses, please visit the Commissioner Kreidler’s webpage on health care reform.

Read this story in Spanish.