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For Small Business Owners (50 or fewer FTE (full time equivalent) employees):
- You are not required to offer health insurance to your employees.
- You do have new options to buy health insurance for your employees through the SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) Marketplace, including the ability to select coverage and what you will pay toward employee premiums.
- You may qualify for a small business health care tax credit worth up to 50% of the premium costs. Beginning 2014 the tax credit is available only for plans purchased through SHOP.
- You may complete online application on your own, or with the help of an agent or broker.
- Open enrollment starts Oct. 1, 2013, for coverage starting as soon as Jan. 1, 2014; coverage may begin later as well.
- For questions, visit healthcare.gov or call 1-800-706-7893 (TTY users: 1-800-706-7915).
For Self-Employed persons:
- If you have no employees, you can get coverage through the individual Health Insurance Marketplace, not through the SHOP. Visit healthcare.gov or call or call 800-318-2596.
For companies covered by Fair Labor Standards ACT:
- You must provide written notice about the Health Insurance Marketplace by Oct. 1, 2013 to employees informing them:
-- About the Health Insurance Marketplace
-- That, depending on any coverage you offer, they may be able to get lower costs on private insurance in the Marketplace based on their income
-- That if they buy insurance through the Marketplace, they may lose the employer contribution (if any) to their health benefits
- Model notices are available at healthcare.gov.
For persons with job-based insurance:
- You can keep your job-based health insurance.
- You may explore new health insurance options available through the Marketplace; however if you choose a Marketplace plan, your employer does not need to make a contribution to your premiums and you may not qualify for lower costs.
- If your job-based coverage is considerable affordable and meets minimum value, you will not get lower costs in the Marketplace. Ask your employer if your plan meets these standards.
All articles in this series can be found at the Partnership for a Healthy Durham website, healthydurham.org