The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was signed into law in 2010.
As of June 2016, Michigan is one of seven states that is part of a state-federal partnership exchange. This exchange allows the state to oversee daily health care plan management. Healthcare.gov is used for plan enrollment. Since Obamacare took effect, there have been many provisions and mandates put in place, including the following, which are affecting small businesses in Michigan.
Obamacare Employer Mandate was set to start in 2014, but was delayed until 2015/2016. This mandate requires that by 2016, employers with 50 or more full-time employees must provide healthcare coverage to 95 percent of their employees and their dependents up until the age of 26. If failure to do so, employers will be required to pay a penalty fee up to $3000 per full-time employee. However, small business owners with 49 or less full-time workers are exempt.
Obamacare offers a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP Marketplace) for businesses with 50 or less full-time employees, averaging 30 or more hours per week. The program provides small business owners with affordable and quality health plans. Through SHOP, an employer with less than 25 full-time employees may qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. You can receive a credit up to 50 percent of your contribution toward your employees’ premium costs, and up to 35 percent for tax-exempt employers.
As of March 2016, Michigan has seen an increase in qualified health plan enrollment, and an expansion of Medicaid through the state-federal partnership exchange. Though healthcare enrollment has increased in Michigan in the past three years, there hasn’t been proven reports that Obamacare has had a direct effect on small business growth, though national job growth has increased. Through the SHOP Marketplace and the Health Care Tax Credit, more small business owners in Michigan will have the ability to offer better benefit plans, making them more appealing to job seekers.
This article was written by T. Marie Adams for CBS Small Business Pulse.