Business owners seek clarity on health insurance deadlines

With several delays in the deadline for companies to offer health insurance to employees, owners may have questions about new rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Chris Hennessey reviews the revised deadlines for small and large employers and the penalties they could face for failing to meet the mandate.

Originally facing a deadline this year, larger employers — with 100 or more employees — will now have until 2015 to provide health insurance for 75% of their employees, and until 2016 to increase coverage to 95% of workers. Smaller businesses, employing 50 to 99 people, will have until 2016 to comply with the law. But it is important to note that when calculating the number of employees, the census year that will be used is 2015.

There are two levels of penalties:

1. There is a $2,000 fine if an employer doesn’t offer insurance at all. The first 30 employees would be exempt from the penalty calculation if the business has 100 employees or more.

2. A $3,000 penalty per employee applies to companies offering health plans that do not meet the standards of the ACA. Also, if a company has an employee who chooses not to opt into the existing plan, AND obtains insurance through a health-care exchange AND receives a premium tax credit (i.e., subsidized coverage), the employer will have to pay a $3,000 penalty for that employee.


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