Navigating Healthcare Reform for Your Small Business

December 09, 2014

With the extensive media coverage and opinionated debate surrounding healthcare reform, you’re likely aware of the healthcare changes happening on a national level, and as a small business owner you probably know that there are options for small businesses. But it’s also likely that this is where your knowledge base about healthcare reform ends. Of all the things you’re dealing with - clients to help, staff to lead, and finances to manage - wading through your healthcare options probably isn't at the top of your to-do list.


Thankfully, a handful of organizations have stepped up to prepare user guides and how-to websites that can help you figure out what healthcare reform is all about, and how it applies to your small business. Here are our picks:


  • Start with the National Federation of Independent Business’ employer mandate flow chart to determine if the mandate applies to your business. While enforcement of the mandate for employers with 50 to 99 full-time employees has been delayed until January 2016, it’s never too early to being preparing.


  • Next, check out the Small Business Administration’s weekly webinar, where employers can learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act. Topics include cost containment, the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, the new Health Insurance Marketplace, and Employer Shared Responsibility. Called the Affordable Care Act 101, the free session takes place every Thursday at 2:00p ET/11:00a PT; find the next webinar at the SBA website.


  • Another comprehensive resource comes courtesy of the Small Business Majority, a national small business research and advocacy group. Their website Healthcare Coverage Website details the provisions of the law that are pertinent to small businesses and breaks down complex terminology, giving small business owners information to help determine if offering insurance to employees is financially feasible.


By exploring these resources you’ll becomes much more familiar with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or Obamacare) and how it affects your business. Keep a list of questions you have based on reading these websites, and the next steps of your health insurance research will be laid out for you.