Health care exchange

Health insurance exchanges open

Health insurance exchanges are scheduled to open Oct. 1 when Obamacare will begin to take full effect.

Most small businesses, with 50 or fewer full-time employees, are not required to offer health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Businesses with more than 50 full-time employees are required to provide health insurance, but they have been given a reprieve with the one-year delay of the employer mandate.

All small businesses are required to notify their employees about the health insurance exchanges and their options for coverage.

Employers must give a (Notice of Exchange Coverage Options) document to all employees by October 1. Businesses that don’t provide this notice could be subject to penalties. Employers must provide a notice of coverage options to each employee, regardless of plan enrollment status (if applicable) or part-time or full-time status. Employees hired after the Oct. 1 deadline need to be given the notice within 14 days.

Who is required to fill out health form?

Any business with at least one employee must fulfill the notification requirement.

Business must provide this information to all employees:

  • What the Health Insurance Marketplace is.
  • Contact information and description of the services provided by the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • That the employee may be eligible for a premium tax credit under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • A statement informing the employee that if he or she purchases a qualified health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, he or she may lose the employer contribution (if any) to any health benefits plan offered by the employer, and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excluded from income for federal income tax purposes.

Other Health Changes Affecting Businesses 

    • Medicare payroll tax on wages and self-employment income more than $200,000 ($250,000 joint) will increase by 0.9 percent.
    • Medicare investment tax imposes a new 3.8 percent tax on investment income for higher-income taxpayers.
    • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) will be limited to a maximum of $2,500 annual contribution.
    • Employers will be required to report the cost of employee health benefits on W-2s for the tax year 2012 (both employer and employee contribution). Until the IRS issues additional regulations, employers that file less than 250 Form W-2s may voluntarily report this information, but it will not be required until further regulations are issued.
    • The threshold at which medical expenses, as a percentage of income, are deductible increases to 10 percent, from 7.5 percent.
    • As of 2017 Form, 1095 (the proof of insurance coverage) deadline for filing has moved up to Jan. 31 to ensure your employees get this form just like their W-2. Other healthcare forms have moved up the calendar, with Forms 1094B and 1095A, B, and C due by Feb. 28 via mail or March 31 electronically. 

 

Click a link to view our post on the timeline for the implementation of the different parts of the Affordable Health Care Act.