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How The Healthcare Overhaul Affects Small Businesses | Health

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How The Healthcare Overhaul Affects Small Businesses

The first thing to know is that as a small business owner, you're not required to offer employees health coverage.

Your business is considered "small" if it employees 50 people or less.

If you already insure your employees, you can keep that coverage.

But starting Tuesday, you can log on to the online "marketplace" at www.healthcare.gov called SHOP. That's an acronym for Small Business Health Options Program. 

There are several benefits in offering your employees a plan through the marketplace:
-You control which plans to offer
-You get to decide how much you'll contribute to employee premiums
-You may be eligible for tax credits that you wouldn't get if you don't go through that program

But are you eligible for those tax credits?

-Your business must have 25 full-time equivalent employees or less
-Their average annual income must be less than 50-thousand dollars each
- You must pay at least 50% of the premiums for your full-time employees. You don't have to pay for part-timers or dependents

By offering plans through the health-options program, you can get back tax credits for up to half of what you paid.

The idea is the smaller your business, the bigger your tax credit.

For example, let's say you own a small business with 10 employees who make $25,000 a year. 

If you pay $70,000 for your employee premiums, you'll get half of that back in tax credits.

Keep in mind that if your business eventually grows past 50 employees, you can still offer plans in the marketplace.

Starting in 2016, businesses with up to 100 employees can participate.

You can find out if your small business qualifies for the tax credit by visiting IRS.gov or calling the SHOP marketplace hotline at 1-800-706-7893

Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Twitter @anita_oh or ask her questions about the healthcare overhaul on Facebook at Anita Oh WMAZ.


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