Small Employers Still Unprepared for Obamacare Mandates

I know, you thought we were done with this topic. And we were. For awhile. But here’s what we’ve learned from a recent article published by Inc:

Small Businesses are still NOT prepared for Obamacare mandates.

Are you an employee of a small business?

Are you a small business employer?

We can help you both!

Here’s what we’ve learned:

“A new survey by the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies…

“…the majority of companies understand and are ready for the coming health insurance mandates. But many small businesses remain confused about Obamacare and available tax credits.

Larger employers were generally better informed than smaller ones: 82 percent of companies with 100 or more employees said they were very well informed about their options. Of course, this is the group that needs to be ready first. Thanks to deadline extensions, midsize companies (with 50 to 99 full-time-equivalent employees) now have until January 2016 to fully comply with the employer mandate; those with 100 or more full-timers must start offering health benefits by January 2015.

According to the survey, nearly all employers who will be affected by the mandate are already offering health benefits to full-time workers: 95 percent of those with 50 to 99 employees, and 97 percent of those with 100 or more. Though almost a quarter of employers report that they are researching workforce reductions to help lessen the impact of ACA mandates–more employers expect to add workers (28 percent) rather then cut them (15 percent) as a result of the ACA.

The smallest employers–those with fewer than 50 full-time workers–are the least likely to offer coverage, and least likely to understand their coverage options. Fifty-seven percent of businesses with fewer than 50 full-time workers don’t offer health benefits. Of those, only 7 percent say they plan to add such benefits. This finding lends support to the growing view that these small businesses will largely choose to send workers to the individual market for health coverage, rather than setting up group plans…

Although eight in 10 companies surveyed say they aware of the SHOP exchanges for small businesses, only six in 10 businesses with fewer than 50 employees–those that are actually eligible to use SHOP–are aware of the program.

To help spread the word about options for small companies, the government last month launched a couple of new tools on Healthcare.gov that are designed to demystify SHOP coverage, including a calculator for determining your full-time equivalent employees, and a tool to help estimate the size of the tax credit for which your small business might qualify.

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