Business

INSURANCE: Less Than 50 Staffers? Your Four Main Obamacare Options

By Dinah Wisenberg Brin
August 7, 2013 – Small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees — or the equivalent — as defined by the U.S. Affordable Care Act may wonder what they should do to prepare for employee open enrollment on the new healthcare exchanges this October.

If you’re among those with questions, watch this recent webinar hosted by a state office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. In it, Frank Knapp Jr., president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, shares the main options. We’ve listed the highlights below, but you can access it yourself here.

Option 1: Do nothing. Businesses with fewer than 50 “full-time-equivalent” employees aren’t obligated to provide coverage under the ACA. These businesses can opt out of providing health insurance and take no action. In this scenario, employees will be responsible for obtaining their own health insurance and will be eligible for government premium subsidies if they qualify based on income and if they purchase coverage on the individual exchanges. Bear in mind that the law defines full-timers as employees who work, on average, at least 30 hours weekly, and counts the hours worked by part-timers toward an employer’s number of full-time-equivalent workers.

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