f you’re like most small to medium-sized business owners, I’m certain that the ambiguity of the approaching Affordable Healthcare Act is daunting. Since it was passed in March 2010, the cumbersome legislation has seen its share of stops and starts. It has been delayed, reworded, postponed, and ultimately, forced on the American people. So, what’s an entrepreneur to do? How can we ensure that we are in compliance with the new law so as to avoid severe penalties and/or consequences? Note the following 5 basic guidelines to get the ball rolling:
(1) Whether you like, loathe, support or oppose Obamacare, it begins on October 1, 2013 and will allow all business owners with fewer than 50 employees to provide their full-time staff with health insurance. From October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014, these companies will be able to begin comparing rates and shopping around for insurance plans via government-issued exchange programs.
(2) The cost of non-compliance is $3,000 per employee. [This is in addition to the .9% increase on the Medicare part A tax that will be rolled out for businesses making over $250,000 in profits.]
(3) If a small business operates in more than one state, it will have the option to select an insurance exchange from a state that it operates in with more favorable rates.
(4) Should a business grow beyond 50 employees in 2014, it will not be kicked out of the exchange program. Note: The exchanges will be available to all businesses with up to 100 employees by 2016.
(5) All small businesses must be in compliance with the new Obamacare rules and regulations by January 2015.
For more information, check out my blog Does Obama Care?, click on any of the embedded links above, check my June 2, 2013 podcast, follow me on Twitter and Facebook and tune in every Saturday to The Michael S. Robinson Show on AM970 The Answer.
[Images via 1, 2, 3, 4]