Now that the Affordable Health Care Act is a law, have you evaluated your health care options for your small business? Have you taken the time to identify if you need to make a change?
The recent problems with the health care exchange have small business owners with 50 or more employees scrambling to make decisions on the best options to provide health care benefits for their employees.
On the day before Thanksgiving, it was announced that small businesses would not be able to buy health insurance via HealthCare.gov. The delay in functionality for the Internet-based SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) system represents the latest setback in the efforts to implement the three-year-old Affordable Care Act.
So what can you do?
Small business owners that want to take advantage of the available tax credits will now have to sign up with either an insurance agent or broker, or directly with a health insurance company. Because this takes a lot of time to evaluate, it is forcing many small business owners to renew their current plan early. Small businesses with 50 or more employees have until Dec. 23 to choose a health plan that will be in effect on Jan. 1 to comply with the law.
This doesn’t represent a lot of time if you were counting on the exchange to be up and running as advertised.
Small business owners need to understand the law, evaluate their options, select the best course of action for now and take action before the deadlines. Hopefully in a year, the online systems will be working as intended, and this process will be easier to understand and utilize.