For years, the health insurance markets were broken when it came to small businesses. Due to the fact that small businesses did not have as much bargaining power as larger businesses, they were forced to pay an average of eighteen percent more for the same type of healthcare plans that were offered to larger businesses. Not only were small businesses being forced to pay more money, their premiums would skyrocket in the event that one of their employees became ill, forcing them to use the coverage that was provided.
However, because of the Affordable Care Act, small businesses and the employees of small businesses will receive better choices when it comes to coverage. The choices will begin with new protection that will limit the massive amounts of rate spikes, that small business owners were once forced to deal with in the past.
Beginning January 2014, small business owners will be given access to a Health Insurance Marketplace that never existed in the past. This marketplace is open for enrollment in October 2013. The marketplace will allow small business owners the opportunity to perform side by side comparisons, of different plans available. This will allow small business owners the option of selecting a plan that will accommodate their budgets, and also ensure that the coverage is going to be right for their business and their employee’s welfare.
Small businesses are also going to see savings, due to tax credits being offered for the new insurance plans. These tax credits will give them the ability to cover their employee’s medical ailments. A lot of small businesses that have twenty-five or fewer employees have already received tax credits for up to thirty-five percent of the costs of insurance. Beginning in 2014, the tax credits will increase to fifty percent.
This will significantly bring the price of health coverage down for small business owners. Also, due to the new law, health insurance agencies will need to publicly justify any reasons for a rate increase of ten percent or more.
New rules are being implemented that will require insurers to utilize at least eighty percent of the premium dollars provided by small business employers to go towards the health care benefits of the employers employees. This new rule will eliminate the costs going towards the small businesses administrative budgets, as they once did in the past. This new rule has already allowed small businesses to obtain more than one billion dollars back from private insurers.
Businesses that employ less than fifty employees will not be required to offer insurance plans for their workers. Only four percent of small businesses have more than fifty employees. These small businesses, are already providing their employees with adequate health insurance policies that they can utilize.
By altering the way that the health insurance markets treat small business owners, small business owners are able to focus on more important things. They are able to do what they are set out to do, which is deliver quality services and products, create jobs, and help to grow the economy.