Health Care Reform: Small Business Tax Credits

In regards to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act, small employers (those who have less than 50 full-time equivalent employees
(FTE)) are not required to offer their employees health coverage. However, an
employer with 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees may be eligible for
incentives from the federal government to provide their employees with health


Many small employers do not realize they have the
opportunity to claim a federal income tax credit on their annual tax returns.
Unfortunately, a very low percentage of qualified business owners are taking
advantage of this credit. Here are the IRS guidelines to be eligible.

  1. The expenses that an employer can count towards the tax
    credit includes the premiums that are paid for each employee. The employer must
    contribute at least 50% of the cost of the health care coverage for employees.
  2.  Must have less than 25 FTE workers when totaling all
    individuals’ hours of employment.
  3.  Employers must pay their workers an average of less
    than $50,000 per year to qualify. The smaller and lower wage employers will
    receive a larger tax credit.

If your business meets these requirements, we encourage you
to contact a Health Care Reform Agent (such as our Health Department here at Sweeney & Sweeney) to verify your options and help you
calculate your eligibility of a tax credit.


Health Care Reform: Individual Tax Credits

Tax credits are
available for individuals and families who meet certain income requirements and
don’t have access to affordable health coverage through their employer. Below
are some key points you should know about tax credits.

  • The size of the tax credit is
    based on a sliding scale, with those who make less money getting larger
    financial support to lower their cost of insurance.
  • Individuals and families who
    make between 138 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level- an
    individual making up to $44,680 and a family of four making up to $92,200,
    are those who are eligible for tax credits and subsidies.
  • Tax credits lower the cost of
    your premium and can be used when you enroll, you do not need to wait
    until you file a tax return at the end of the year.
  • Tax credits are paid to your health plan monthly
    by the federal government.

In addition, as always, with any questions you have about Health Care Reform and what that can mean for your family, yourself, or your business, please feel free to either call or set up a meeting at Sweeney & Sweeney and Cheryl, Jamie, Dan, Shannon, Ellen, and/or John would be more than happy to assist with any concerns.

Health Care Reform: Getting Covered

With the health care reform bill soon to take effect, many
people are worried about how they’re going to afford coverage. Fortunately,
there are many assistance programs available to make sure that your health care
is affordable. For more information, click here to read the full article. 

Cost-sharing subsidies help to reduce the amount of expenses
that an individual has to pay out of pocket (i.e. copayments). The assistance
programs are based on an individual/family’s income. The chart below shows some
examples of what you and your family could qualify for. 

Health Care Reform table

*Income levels are based on the year 2012

**California only 

Sweeney & Sweeney will be having more updates to
come. Please feel free to call us with any questions. Our amazing health team—
John, Jamie, Ellen, Dan, and Cheryl—are always ready and willing to help!

Health Care Reform: What Does it Mean for Your Small Business?

Many small business owners might be going in to panic mode as the new year gets closer. Sweeney & Sweeney Insurance wants you to know we are here to help you through this big transition. In this article we have outlined some key points that you as an owner need to start thinking about now. Below are some questions you can ask yourself to help you make the best choice for your business.

  • Do I have to offer coverage to my employees? If you have 50 or more
    full-time employees, you are required to offer affordable coverage to your
  • How many of my employees are considered full-time? According to the
    ACA regulations, full-time employees are 30 or more hours per week. If you are
    anywhere near 50 employees you need to be very clear who is considered a
    full-time or part-time equivalent. This can be a very confusing process, but
    Sweeney & Sweeney has trained professionals to help you walk through these
  • What coverage classification should I choose for my employees? The
    coverage’s will be tiered as, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Be sure to
    balance the best offerings with a plan your employees can afford (May not
    exceed 9.5% of the employee’s gross income).
  • Will I offer coverage for dependents? This is a tricky concept and
    you need to be extremely careful. Choose the best balance that your employee’s
    family can afford. If a dependent is offered affordable coverage through an
    employer they may NOT go to the individual exchange and receive a subsidy. If you
    decide to offer employee only coverage, then their dependents can go to the
    individual exchange to receive a subsidy. It is very important to balance what
    is best for your employees and we recommend speaking to a health care
    professional about this.
  • Should I handle these decisions on my own? It is highly recommended
    to choose an Agency who is Health Care Reform certified to walk you through these
    extremely important steps to insure your employees are getting the best deal
    and to avoid any penalties to your business. Sweeney & Sweeney Insurance is
    here to help. Give us a call for more information!