Catching the Wave – Adjusting to the Health Care Reform

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Business owners are facing tough decisions on whether they should offer health care benefits to their employees.  Business owners with under 50 employees are not obligated to offer health care benefits to their employees under the new Health care reform.  However, there is an incentive if they do. 

Any business owner with under twenty-five employees is now eligible for a thirty-five percent tax credit for 2013 and fifty percent for 2014.  It would be advisable for business owners to contact their accountants for the tax consequences.

This would be a good incentive for business owners to offer the health care benefits to their employees, however, most say they cannot afford it.  In that case, the employee would be able to shop for health insurance on the exchange.  If the employee cannot afford it, they would be eligible for a subsidy from the federal government if their income falls within four times the poverty level or $44,000.

If the employee still cannot afford the insurance premium after the subsidy, they can apply for Medicaid.  However, they must fall within the income guidelines in order to qualify for Medicaid.

Studies have shown that employees become more loyal, productive, and experience job satisfaction when they receive a comprehensive benefits package from their employer.  In return, they offer better customer service, take fewer days off, work more efficiently, tend not to complain as much, discover ways of being more effective, and are more enthusiastic about their work.

Since Massachusetts implemented the health care reform seven years ago, economic growth has increased and unemployment is still low.  Additionally, 90% of the people have health care and more are practicing preventive measures in their health.   Small business owners can now acquire health insurance for their families while they are building their businesses.  Because much of the overhead costs of selling insurance, premiums are lower.

In conclusion, the health care reform will help to improve employee morale and health and will help business owners to grow their businesses.

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