Uncertainty Surrounds Small-Business Benefits in Health Reform Law
Some small businesses in California are unaware of the small-business provisions in the federal health reform law, while others have questions about their eligibility for the reform law's benefits, the Modesto Bee reports.
The overhaul includes two provisions designed to benefit small businesses. They are:
- Tax credits designed to help small businesses cover health care costs for their employees; and
- A state health insurance exchange, which aims to help individuals and small businesses compare and purchase health insurance plans.
Unaware of Benefits
Elizabeth Echols -- regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration -- said California has about 500,000 small businesses that could be eligible for the tax credits.
However, about 57% of small businesses in California are not familiar with the tax credits, and 62% are not aware of the state's forthcoming health benefit exchange, according to a recent survey by Pacific Community Ventures (Amaro, Modesto Bee, 5/8).
Qualifying for the Benefits
In addition, some small business owners have been surprised to learn that they do not meet the criteria for the tax credits in the reform law.
To qualify, average salaries for employees at a small business must be $50,000 or less (Amaro , Modesto Bee, 5/9).Â In addition, employers must have fewer than the equivalent of 25 full-time workers (Modesto Bee, 5/8).
Some small business owners who did qualify for and receive the tax credit say the credit did not cover a substantial portion of their employee health benefit costs (Amaro , Modesto Bee, 5/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.