• September 20, 2014

Business workshop explains health care reform

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Posted: Friday, November 8, 2013 4:30 am

The impact of health reform on individuals and businesses was the topic of discussion at a free business workshop Tuesday at the Stewart C. Meyer Library.

The workshop, sponsored by the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce, was led by Aleta C. Eversley, owner of Liberty Tax Service in Belton.

The Affordable Care Act was discussed at length.

“Certain portions of health reform and their mandates are already in effect,” said Eversley, adding that many Americans must have health insurance by Jan. 1 or they will face a penalty.

Insurers must provide policies that do not have pre-existing conditions, denials, elimination of annual dollar limit, or a minimum of extension coverage, she said.

Individuals with a household income from 100 percent to 400 percent of poverty level may qualify for cost-sharing subsidies or a premium assistance tax credit, Eversley said.

“Health Insurance Exchanges opened Oct. 1 where individuals and small-business owners can shop for insurance coverage before the Jan. 1 deadline,” she said.

During the presentation, she said large employers who have more than 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must offer full-time employees and their dependents a health plan with minimum essential coverage.

If the plan does not provide minimum value or an employee receives a premium tax credit, cost sharing reduction or they offer no plan all, then the employer will be subject to a penalty, she said.

Small businesses that have less than 25 full-time equivalent employees may qualify for a Small Employer Health Care Credit.

Any tax deduction for the premium paid is reduced by the credit amount. It is refundable as long as it doesn’t exceed the income tax withholding and Medicare tax liability.

“If a person would like to calculate their credit they can go online to marketplace.gov, irs.gov, or the Health and Human Services website, www.hhsc.state.tx.us, for more information,” Eversley said.

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