Small Business Guide to Affordable Care Act

After multiple delays, the Obamacare employer mandate will finally take effect on January 1, 2015. Is your business affected? Where can you get coverage? Here’s a quick recap of what’s new and what questions you should be asking now.?

Is my business affected??

Starting January 1, 2015, businesses with 100 or more full-time equivalent employees must provide health benefits to at least 70 percent of their full-time employees (and 95 percent by 2016) or else pay a $2,000 annual penalty for each employee, excluding the first 30. Businesses with 50 to 99 employees, however, have until January 1, 2016, to comply with the requirement. And firms with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent workers are not required to offer coverage at all.?

How do I count full-time equivalents??

In general, the definition of a full-time equivalent is someone who works an average of 30-plus hours per week. But you also have to count part-timers in your calculation–two people working halftime equal one full-timer under the law. If you have lots of variable-hour workers, the calculations can get complicated, and you need to be careful that you don’t run afoul of the law. See the IRS website for the excruciating details.??

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