In December 2016, former President Obama signed an important health care act that will help alleviate the burden of employee health insurance on small businesses.
The 21st Century Cures Act will allow, among other things, small businesses to reimburse their employees for individual health insurance if they do not offer a group plan. For small companies with less than 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, managing a company-wide group health insurance plan can be a complicated endeavor that saps valuable time and resources. To counteract this, the 21st Century Cures Act will help small businesses contribute to their employees’ health insurance premiums with relative ease.
Businesses don’t have to pay payroll taxes on the reimbursement and can escape the administrative headache of maintaining a group plan. And employees don’t have to pay taxes on their employer’s premium contribution. This can help small businesses attract employees who want health care coverage without taking on the responsibility of managing a group care plan. Businesses must offer the reimbursement on the same terms to all employees but can adjust the amount based on the employee’s age and family size.
Many small businesses that offered employee insurance coverage through group plans under the Affordable Care Act have struggled with the resources required to manage them. Under the 21st Century Cures Act, however, the costs are more manageable, and the administrative responsibilities significantly reduced. The new act also reduces employer liability when it comes to maintaining coverage.
Helping your employees access health care can make you a more competitive employer to those on the job market. But as a small business, you may also be concerned about the benefits and responsibilities that come with offering premium reimbursements. For example, there are caps on premium contributions, rules on small business health care credits and regulations in place that can make switching from a group plan to a reimbursement model complicated for any small business. With so many rules and regulations to consider, professional guidance is highly recommended.
If you need help with employee health care, start by sitting down with us. As your Creative Business Lawyer®, we can help you contribute to your employees’ health insurance premiums while minimizing your costs and administrative burden.
Developing a trusting relationship with a Creative Business Lawyer® will ensure your business can meet the needs of your employees while still protecting your best interests.