The 2014 deadline by which all Americans must have health insurance is fast approaching. Those small businesses that have not yet attempted to acquire insurance for their employees have until March 31 to do it or risk facing the mandated penalty.
Estimates say that less than .2 percent of small businesses fall within the parameters and do not already provide health insurance. If you or your company are part of that .2 percent, read on to learn about ObamaCare for employers:
1. Employers Must Offer Insurance if They Have 50+ Full-Time Employees or FTE Employees
Under the Affordable Care Act, companies must provide health insurance for their full-time employees if the company has over 50 full-time employees, or 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employes. Full-time equivalent equals the total number of full-time employees plus the total number of part-time employee hours divided by 30.
2. Employers Could Be Fined $2,000 Per Employee
Here's how this works. Like the individual mandated fine, if an employer does not offer health insurance, they must pay a fine of $2,000 per full-time employee minus the first 30 employees.
As demonstrated in the instructional video above, if a company with 51 full-time employees does not offer coverage, it will be charged a $2,000 fine for each of the unexampled 21 employees. This means a total fine of $42,000.
3. Even if Insurance Is Offered, Employers Might Still Be Fined
Just because an employer offers their employees insurance does not mean they have entirely avoided a fine. People who make between 133 percent and 400 percent of the poverty level are eligible for a premium tax credit to help them purchase health insurance. If an employer offers insurance, but it fails to cover 60 percent of an employee's total costs, the employee will still be eligible for the premium tax credit.
The employer will be fined $3,000 for each employee that qualifies for the premium tax credit. If they do offer insurance, they will pay whatever costs less — $2,000 per full-time employee, or $3,000 per full-time employee who has qualified for a premium tax credit.
4. You Must Offer Coverage Before 90 Days of Employment
Recently discussed on Business Week, a lesser-known requirement of ObamaCare is that employers must grant insurance to newly hired full-time employees within 90 days of employment.
This rule went into effect January 1, and weekends and holidays are included as part of the 90 days.
5. It Was Found Constitutional
You might be thinking, how can this be possible? How can the government force me to provide health insurance and then fine me if I don't? Well, in June the much-disputed ObamaCare mandate was deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court. Prosecutors arguing exactly what was just laid out above were denied their claim because the court found that the mandate fit in with the government's right to levy taxes on its citizens.