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March 27, 2014

Uninsured? Are You Prepared to Pay the Penalty?

The deadline is quickly approaching to sign up for health care insurance using the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) federal website – March 31, 2014, to be exact.  The ACA made provision for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to collect fees for those individuals not insured by their employer, the government, or directly through an independent insurer.  The fee/penalty sounds fairly reasonable for the tax year 2014, $95, per adult or 1% of income, whichever is greater.  However, did you know the penalties increase over the next couple of years?

Year

Per Adult OR Percentage of Family Income

(whichever is greater)

2014

$95/1%

2015

$325/2%

2016 and beyond

$695/2.5%

The penalties are pro-rated if an individual, their spouse, and children* have partial-year coverage.  If they lack coverage for less than three months in the year, they will have no penalty.  The fees for the uninsured were to encourage and motivate individuals to seek health care insurance coverage, but the law does include a provision to exempt some.

Employers need to stay abreast of the new health care law and its provisions, because they are very detailed and being clarified often.  Communicating regularly with employees about the current status of the law will help employees be prepared to meet the requirements on an individual basis as well.

 

*A child’s penalty is one-half of the adult dollar amount, e.g. $95 per adult is $47.50 per child.

Source:  Luhby, Tami.  “Uninsured next year?  Here’s your Obamacare penalty.” See article here.

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August 21, 2013

Amazing New One-Stop Resource for Businesses

Filed under: Hiring & Jobs — Tags: , 6:00 am

On October 28, 2011, the President issued a challenge to government agencies to think beyond their organizational boundaries in the best interest of serving America’s business community, and start thinking and acting more like the businesses they serve. He directed the creation of BusinessUSA, a centralized, one-stop platform to make it easier than ever for businesses to access services to help them grow and hire.  BusinessUSA uses technology to quickly connect businesses to the services and information relevant to them, regardless of where the information is located or which agency’s website, call center, or office they go to for help.

Among some of the resources is the “Learn about New Health Care Changes” option.  This feature provides valuable and timely information about the changes taking effect October 1, 2013, that will provide many individuals, self-employed, and small businesses a new way to shop for private health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace and its Small Business Health Options Program (the SHOP Marketplace).  Other resources provide tips to start a business, how to grow the business, help with hiring, resources for veterans, and information on taxes and credits.

The beta version of the BusinessUSA website will continue to evolve in the coming weeks and months and is seeking feedback as they add new features and content, and as they open additional channels of communication such as call centers, email, and social media.  It will be interesting to watch this website grow and become an even more comprehensive business tool.

Source:  BusinessUSA – usa.gov

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