Uncertainty Surrounds Small-Business Benefits in Health Reform Law

Some small businesses in California are unaware of the small-business provisions in the federal health reform law, while others have questions about their eligibility for the reform law’s benefits, the Modesto Bee reports.

Background

The overhaul includes two provisions designed to benefit small businesses. They are:

  • Tax credits designed to help small businesses cover health care costs for their employees; and
  • A state health insurance exchange, which aims to help individuals and small businesses compare and purchase health insurance plans.

Unaware of Benefits

Elizabeth Echols — regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration — said California has about 500,000 small businesses that could be eligible for the tax credits.

However, about 57% of small businesses in California are not familiar with the tax credits, and 62% are not aware of the state’s forthcoming health benefit exchange, according to a recent survey by Pacific Community Ventures (Amaro, Modesto Bee, 5/8).

Qualifying for the Benefits

In addition, some small business owners have been surprised to learn that they do not meet the criteria for the tax credits in the reform law.

To qualify, average salaries for employees at a small business must be $50,000 or less (Amaro [1], Modesto Bee, 5/9). In addition, employers must have fewer than the equivalent of 25 full-time workers (Modesto Bee, 5/8).

Some small business owners who did qualify for and receive the tax credit say the credit did not cover a substantial portion of their employee health benefit costs (Amaro [2], Modesto Bee, 5/9).

Read more: Uncertainty Surrounds Small-Business Benefits in Health Reform Law

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Tim Colling

Tim Colling is the founder and President of A Servant's Heart In-Home Care, which provided in-home caregiving services in San Diego County, and also of A Servant's Heart Geriatric Care Management, which provided
professional geriatric care management services and long term care placement services in San Diego County. Tim has more than 30 years of experience in management in a variety of industries. He held a Certified Care Manager credential from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Tim is also a Certified Public Accountant (retired), and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from California State University at San Diego. In addition to writing blog posts here for the Servant’s Heart blog, Tim also is a regular contributor to HealthLine.com and to FamilyAffaires.com as well as blogs of other eldercare services provider companies. Finally, Tim is also the president of A Servant's Heart Web Design and Marketing, which provides home care marketing as well as website design and online marketing for those who serve the elderly and their families.

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