Russell Gully published an article in the March/April 2013 edition of Small Business Digest entitled “Health Care Reform: To Play or Pay?” In the article, he discusses Obamacare requirements for small businesses, including new tax penalties beginning in 2014. The article explains that “Effective next year, employers with at least 50 full-time equivalent employees – where full-time means working a minimum of 30 hours per week – must offer group health plan coverage to full-time employees (FTEs) and their dependents, or the company may be subject to an annual $2,000 per-employee tax penalty.” Gully adds that there is a second, $3,000 per-employee annual tax penalty “[i]f a company does not offer coverage that provides ‘minimum value’ and is ‘affordable.’” The article describes “affordable” coverage as when “the cost for self-only coverage does not exceed 9.5 percent of the employee’s W-2 income.” In addition to the 2014 penalties, Gully outlines several reform measures that apply to companies in 2013 involving flexible health spending plans, health plan enrollment documents, and a new fee for funding the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund. Gully concludes that while smaller employers may be able to rely on major health insurance companies to market insurance products that comply with these requirements, “meeting these requirements may require some additional education for business owners and a thorough employee communications effort, especially for smaller businesses that have never ‘played’ in this arena.”
If you would like to know more about this issue, please contact Russell or one of the other tax attorneys at Thompson & Knight.
-Russell Gully, Thompson & Knight LLP