After a month of closed-door meetings, Senate Republicans emerged last week with a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The legislation, introduced as The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), is the Senate’s answer to the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628), which the House of Representatives passed on May 4. The Senate bill preserves much of the House’s work while making some key changes that could influence the federal budget and the legislation’s overall chances of passage. For small businesses, the national discussion on health care policy has brought much uncertainty. Any changes will have a big impact on the realm of employee benefits.
Much has been said about the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by the House of Representatives in May. The Republican-sponsored legislation is the first successful attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and though it faces considerable scrutiny in the Senate, it signals a desire among many for significant change in U.S. health care policy. While the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on the AHCA discusses the impact of the legislation on the federal budget, the bill’s tax impact on individuals and small businesses—as well as those who advise them—has gone largely unexamined. Because the AHCA is a budget reconciliation bill (legislation that focuses solely on budgetary concerns), it contains many provisions that affect the tax status of these groups. It also raises several questions on IRS reporting requirements going forward.
One of the chief benefits of offering a personalized benefits solution like the Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA), or Small Business HRA, is its potential to save small businesses money. Because the QSEHRA allows businesses to set their own budget on a per-employee basis, business owners can control costs – and, because individual insurance is almost always cheaper than group policies, small businesses often cover their employees’ entire premium while cutting expenses. But not all individual markets are the same. While covering an employee under a group policy is more expensive for most small businesses, there are several parts of the country where the individual market has deteriorated to the point that an individual policy is actually more costly. In these situations, does it still make sense to offer personalized benefits instead of a traditional group policy? In this post, we’ll explore how to determine whether the group or individual market is more favorable, when to explore options outside of group, and how to determine if a QSEHRA is the best fit, even if it’s more expensive.
I love working for a small business. In a smaller office, my day-to-day impact is much bigger, and when I wake up in the mornings, I know I’m going to make a difference. But health insurance is also important to me—and, unfortunately, quite a few small businesses don’t offer health benefits. For many years, that led to a hard choice: Join a larger company that offers benefits, or go without benefits to work for a small business. That’s not the case anymore. I now work for a small business that offers me a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA), or Small Business HRA.
One of the central questions in reforming U.S. health care asks whether businesses should be required to provide health insurance to their employees. Right now, only companies with 50 or more employees are subject to the employer mandate. If plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act are successful, however, no business would have to provide health insurance.
As the Senate gets ready to consider the American Health Care Act, refresh your memory on how the bill is different from the Affordable Care Act. See what would change and what would stay the same. Use our infographic to learn the ins and outs of the proposed health reform legislation.
When Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016, it created a new health plan for small businesses—the Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA), or Small Business HRA. Under a QSEHRA, businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees can reimburse their staff for individual insurance premiums and qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses. The business sets a monthly allowance for employees, verifies and approves employee expenses, and then reimburses them from that allowance. QSEHRAs are administered on a tax-free basis for small businesses. Employees are also spared from income tax—provided they’re covered by an insurance policy with minimum essential coverage (MEC). Hundreds of small businesses across the country have already found relief through the QSEHRA, both from the cost and administration time associated with group health insurance and from the damage of not offering health benefits at all. However, what businesses may not realize is that even employees without MEC can benefit from the QSEHRA.
A little-publicized Nevada law provides residents with a unique opportunity that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the Untied States. NRS 687B.480, which took effect January 2014, allows uninsured residents to buy an individual insurance policy any time during the year. Elsewhere in the country, you’d need a qualifying life event—such as a marriage or loss of employer-sponsored coverage—to do that. In this article, we’ll explore standard rules for open enrollment, how the Nevada law differs, and the advantages it brings to small businesses as well as to the state’s residents.
The House of Representatives took the first step last week toward attaining a long-desired goal—the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The American Health Care Act (AHCA) (H.R. 1628) passed the House on May 4, 2017, in a 217–213 party-line vote. The Republican-sponsored bill removes many of the tenets of the ACA and implements funding changes to premium tax credits and the Medicaid program, among other health care provisions. U.S. small business owners have largely supported efforts to amend the ACA, and the AHCA—if passed—would bring several changes to the small business community. In this post, we’ll cover the history of the AHCA, its major provisions, what must happen to make it law, and how its passage would affect small businesses.
Millennials are now the largest generation in the American workforce. As baby boomers retire and a younger generation of workers fills their shoes, employers must find new ways to attract a new crop of talented employees.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is general in nature and does not apply to any specific U.S. state except where noted. Health insurance regulations differ in each state. See a licensed agent for detailed information on your state. Zane Benefits, Inc. does not sell health insurance.