Details of health care law troubling some business owners | Business | Macon.com

12
Aug

Details of health care law troubling some business owners | Business | Macon.com

The next big step in the federal government’s health insurance overhaul will kick in soon, but many business owners are still struggling to understand what it means for them.

Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, as of Oct. 1, health insurance will be available to individuals and small businesses through an exchange, sometimes called a health insurance marketplace.

While the portion of the law mandating that large employers — those with 50 or more workers — provide health insurance has been delayed until 2014, all businesses still need to be prepared.

Businesses with fewer than 50 workers — considered a small business under the law — are not required to provide insurance.

One of the big issues facing all businesses is determining who’s an employee as defined by the new law.

“There is a huge issue about people who are treated as your employees, but you are calling them independent contractors or consultants or leased employees, and whether you have to count them and their hours” to determine if the business falls under the 50-employee limit, said Pepper Crutcher Jr., a partner with the Balch & Bingham law firm in Mississippi.

Crutcher, who leads the firm’s Affordable Care Act compliance practice, spent a year researching the law and has been traveling around the country giving presentations.

Large employers also have to know whether to count those employees — contractors or consultants — “as people who you owe a duty to offer coverage, or (the company may have to) pay the associated taxes and penalties,” he said.

via Details of health care law troubling some business owners | Business | Macon.com.

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