Timeline to SHOP Exhanges in Health Care Reform

By: B. Smith, Aug, 4, 2010

The recent health care reform legislation creates a business Shop Exchange for small to medium sized companies to competitively bid for health care coverage. It also includes new health care tax credits for small businesses that provide health insurance to their employees.

Here are some highlights of the changes that are coming in the next few years:

2011
Penalties for using Flexible Spending Accounts incorrectly will increase from 10 percent to 20 percent.

2013
Earned Income Medicare tax will increase from 1.45 percent to 2.35 percent in 2013 on individuals earning over $200,000 or couples over $250,000.

PA Signs Order Starting to Implement Health Care Reforms

By: B. Smith, May 2010

Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell signs an executive order that starts the process for the Commonwealth to implement parts of the Health Care Reform Legislation.

The Governor indicated that the creation exchanges (Health Benefit Exchange are for individuals and Small Business Health Option Program, SHOP, exchanges are for business) will save the Commonwealth up to $650 million in health care expenditures over the next 8 years. He stated that the immediate task of the order is the creation of an insurance program to cover adults that have been denied coverage.

SHOP Exchanges to change Small Business Health Care Landscape

By: B. Smith, May 2010

Today, Small businesses work hard to purchase health care coverage that is competitively priced. This is compared to coverage premium discounts that large companies can negotiate simply because of the size of their risk pool.

Starting in 2014 that is going to change as States start to offer insurance ‘pools’, called SHOP Exchanges, for small businesses to purchase health care coverage for their employees. Small business are defined by the legislation as a company that has less than 100 employees, but States may choose to use 50 employees as the benchmark total until 2016 for their definition. Under the Health Care Reform Law, whatever the total is used for a definition of ‘Small Business’ it will include counting part-time employees towards the grand total.

Ten Very Good Benefits of the Health Care Reform Law

By: B. Smith
May, 2010
1 ) Health Insurers CAN’T deny Children coverage due to pre-exising Conditions
2 ) Seniors will get a rebate to cover the ‘Donut Hole‘ in Medicare drug coverage
3 ) Young Adults may stay on a parents policy until age 27
4 ) Adults with pre-exiting conditions get a temporary High-Risk pool to get coverage
5 ) By 2018 all plans MUST cover checkups and preventive care without a co-pay
6 ) Insurance companies MUST disclose operational costs, creating greater transparency
7 ) Mandate to reduce waste and fraud in current Health care system, ie: medicare billing abuse
8 ) Life time CAPS on coverage will be eliminated by 2014
9 ) Small Business Tax Credits for companies with less than 50 employees of up to 50% of employee premiums
10) Create Small Business Health Options Exchanges, aSHOP Exchange is for for Small Business to get competitive pricing for insurance premiums.

Lower Premiums, Stronger Businesses: How Health Insurance Reform Will Bring Down Costs for Small Businesses

Relief from crushing premium increases.

Across the country, America’s businesses are struggling as the cost of health care continues to skyrocket. Premiums for employer-based health insurance have more than doubled since 2000, a growth rate three times that of wages.1 By 2025, one in every four dollars in our nation’s economy will be spent on health care2 – money that could have been invested in our nation’s businesses.

Rising health care costs cut into employee wages and impede hiring and business growth.

SHOP Notes: Small Businesses to see immediate tax breaks

Small businesses can look forward to some quick relief: a tax credit to offset insurance premiums that takes effect immediately thanks to the health care reform President Obama signed into law last month.Business owners should watch the mailbox for notification from the Internal Revenue Service in the coming weeks. The notification will help provide suggestions and information to help determine if they are eligible for the 2010 tax credit. If small business owners don’t receive the notifications, they can check with their tax preparation service since the mailing is also going out to tens of thousands of tax professionals.