A recent article, Small business health care tips and tax benefits when you SHOP by Jimmy Stafford discloses that small business owners with less than fifty full- time equivalent employees are not penalized for not providing healthcare coverage. However, for some competitive reasons, offering a healthcare program is an edge.
The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace
- Open to all employers with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
- The easy to navigate website:https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/employers permits users to make payments, select plans and manage employee participation.
- Special Enrollment period (Nov. 15- Dec. 15) when minimum participation requirements do not apply.
- No limited enrollment period for employers who meet the minimum participation requirement.
- Employers have the ability to control the following.
- How long the employees’ initial enrollment period is.
- The waiting period before new hires can enroll.
- How much of the premium cost the employer will pay.
- A local insurance agent or broker can help you enroll.
- Or an employer can use the marketplace to find a local agent who is registered to sell SHOP plans.
The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
- A tax credit available for up to 50 percent of the employer’s premium costs.
- To qualify for the credit, a business must.
- Employ less than 25 full-time equivalent employees.
- Incur an average employee salary of $50,000 or less per annum, which does not include most owner/employees.
- Pay at least 50 percent of full-time employees’ premium costs.
- Offer coverage to full-time employees through the SHOP Marketplace.
- An employer can claim the credit for two consecutive years only; however, the credit can be a great means to ease the initial costs of adding coverage.
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