Healthcare Reform Bill: What does this mean to you and your business?

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) constitutional, it’s time to take a closer look at what the law means to you.

Under the ACA, insurers must pay for certain preventive and screening services to identify problems early when treatments have a greater likelihood of success at no out-of-pocket cost to you.

The ACA requires insurers to spend 80-85% of the money received for premiums on medical care. Some consumers will get rebates this summer if their insurer’s administrative costs are too high. One of the aims of the ACA is to hold insurance premiums in check.

There are benefits for small businesses, too. If you have less than 25 employees, pay average annual wages below $50,000, and provide health insurance, you may qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 35% (up to 25% for non-profits) to offset the cost of health insurance. Starting in 2014, the small business tax credit goes up to 50% (up to 35% for non-profits) for qualifying businesses. This will make the cost of providing insurance even lower.

This historic piece of legislation is very broad. Without health reform, health care costs have risen to over 17% of GDP. Only time will tell whether the law will achieve its goals of access to better health for individuals, better health for populations, and lower costs.

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