The Affordable Care Act is in full effect. And, if you’re like many small business owners or managers, you’ve done your homework. You understand your company’s requirements under Obamacare and you finally feel like you get it. Do your employees feel the same way? Likely not.
In fact, most employees (heck, most of the American population), are still confused about what Obamacare means to them, to their family, and to their health insurance. This is a problem. Many companies are making changes to their health benefits because of Obamacare, which means employees do not fully understand these changes. And, they could be missing out on opportunities for better health insurance.
Employees need your help understanding Obamacare. To help, we’ve boiled down four essential Obamacare facts to help you and your employees understand the key impacts of Obamacare. Let’s get started.
4 Essential Obamacare Facts to Help Employees Understand
What many people don’t realize is that the Affordable Care Act, aka the ACA or Obamacare, introduced new changes that greatly benefit individuals and individual health insurance. There are four key things all small business owners, managers, and your employees need to know about how Obamacare impacts individuals and families.
1. If you do not have health insurance coverage you will likely pay a penalty at tax-time, called the Individual Shared Responsibility Fee or the Individual Mandate.
2. There are new options for purchasing health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplaces.
3. Most employees are eligible for significant discounts on health insurance, called Premium Tax Credits and Subsidies. In addition, Medicaid eligibility has expanded in many states.
4. Individual health insurance has new advantages. For example, you cannot be turned away or charged or more because of a pre-existing medical condition and all health insurance plans cover essential health benefits. In fact, these Obamacare changes make individual health insurance (not traditional employer health insurance) a better and more affordable way to insure yourself, your family, and your employees.
What Small Businesses Need to Know to Understand Obamacare
As a quick refresher, let’s also talk about what small businesses need to know about Obamacare. There are three key essential Obamacare facts for small businesses.
1. Small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) are not required to offer traditional health insurance. The ACA’s “Employer Mandate” does not apply to small businesses.
2. There are new reporting requirements for employers of all sizes.
3. Because of the new advantages of individual health insurance, savvy small businesses are transitioning employees to individual health insurance, and helping with a premium reimbursement program. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2017, 60% of all small businesses will transition to individual health insurance and premium reimbursement.
While your small business is getting the hang of Obamacare, employees still need help navigating what the Affordable Care Act means to them, to their family, and to their healthcare. By helping them understand these essentials, they will feel more confident with the health benefits you’re offering them, and be ready to take control of their healthcare.
Do you understand Obamacare? What questions do you have? Leave a comment below.