01 11 2016

Affordable Care Act Changes For Small Businesses

01 11 2016

Preparing Small Businesses For The Changes To The ACA In 2016

With recent tweaks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act recently enacted, small business owners need to be aware of the changes in case they find themselves in a position where they need a working capital loan. The PPACA has caused a stir in both D.C. and in local politics, with many people staking out their side for or against the controversial law. Despite the furor, though, it remains the law of the land, and it contains regulations and mandates that small business owners need to pay attention to.

Tweaking the ACA

Originally, Obamacare defined a small business as any enterprise with 50 employees or fewer. Under the previous language in the bill, starting in 2016, the definition of small business would have expanded to include any with one to 100 employees.

However, in early October, President Barack Obama signed into law the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act, which was overwhelmingly approved by both chambers of Congress. The PACE Act amends the original PPACA so that only those companies with one to 50 employees constitute small businesses, ultimately protecting small businesses with between 51 and 100 employees from higher premiums and more onerous mandates and compliance that exists in the small-group market.

National Association of Healthcare Underwriters Vice President of Government Relations Marcy Buckner hailed the move as a major step in the right direction for alleviating extraneous burdens on smaller to medium-sized businesses, Benefits Pro reported.

“To have [businesses with 51 to 100 employees] added into the small group market was going to cause a big increase in premiums,” said Buckner. “We were part of a coalition with groups like ourselves and carriers. Oftentimes, the carriers and agents aren’t on the same page, but we worked well on this. It was a great success.”

Allowing states to choose

While the PACE Act amends the definition of what constitutes a small business, the bill also leaves it up to the individual states to retain the current rule, which would expand small businesses to those with 51 to 100 employees. The Act allows any state to make the election to maintain the original definition via any state action within the authority of the applicable state regulatory agency in charge legally binding health insurance issuers. If a state opts to elect the original small business definition of 51 to 100, then the governing body must uniformly apply the same standards to all the state’s health insurance issuers. This includes any operating within the Small Business Health Options Program.

As Benefits Pro noted, states like New York are planning on maintaining the 100-employee threshold. Small business owners must check with their state’s local governing authority to determine whether they fall under the purview of the original definition or the amended one.

Small business owners need to prepare

While the passage of the PACE Act greatly alleviates many of the additional burdens and compliance issues many small businesses would end up facing at the beginning of the year, some companies have already begun the process under the assumption that the ACA would have impacted their employees’ health insurance benefits.

In addition, beginning in 2016, employees who do not purchase health insurance will face a steeper penalty, either $695 or 2.5 percent of any income over $10,000. Owners should take the time to educate their staff on the potential penalties associated with opting not to purchase insurance.

Further, once February comes around, small business owners will face another host of compliance issues, with the government requiring benefit professionals to collect and file more information. Complying will mean employers will have to spend a significant amount of time filling and filing forms. According to Benefits Pro, if small business owners opt instead to utilize an outside vendor to complete this process, it could potentially cost anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000 to implement and administer the forms.

Find Out How Much Funding You Qualify For

Fields marked with an * are required
By clicking this button I agree to all terms and conditions.

Terms & Conditions

General Acceptance

Any applications submitted electronically shall have the same force and effect as if the application bore an inked original signature(s). The above information, together with any accompanying financial statements, schedules, or other materials, is submitted for the purpose of obtaining credit and is warranted to be true, correct, and complete.

 

US Patriot Act:

To help the United States Government fight terrorism and money laundering, Federal law requires us to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person that opens an account. What this means for you: when you open an account, we will ask for your name, a street address, date of birth, and an identification number, such as a Social Security number, that Federal law requires us to obtain. We may also ask to see your driver's license or other identifying documents that will allow us to identify you.

 

For Loan/Merchant Services:

The Merchant and Owner(s)/Officer(s) identified in the application (individually, an “Applicant”) each represents, acknowledges and agrees that (1) all information and documents provided to National Funding, Inc. (“NF”) including credit card processor statements are true, accurate and complete, (2) Applicant will immediately notify NF of any change in such information or financial condition, (3) Applicant authorizes NF to disclose all information and documents that NF may obtain including credit reports to other persons or entities (collectively, “Assignees”) that may be involved with or acquire commercial loans having daily repayment features and/or Merchant Cash Advance transactions, including without limitation the application therefor (collectively, “Transactions”) and each Assignee is authorized to use such information and documents, and share such information and documents with other Assignees, in connection with potential Transactions, (4) each Assignee will rely upon the accuracy and completeness of such information and documents, (5) NF, Assignees, and each of their representatives, successors, assigns and designees (collectively, “Recipients”) are authorized to request and receive any investigative reports, credit reports, statements from creditors or financial institutions, verification of information, or any other information that a Recipient deems necessary, (6) Applicant waives and releases any claims against Recipients and any information-providers arising from any act or omission relating to the requesting, receiving or release of information, and (7) each Owner/Officer represents that he or she is authorized to sign this form on behalf of Merchant.(8) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (9) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.

 

For Equipment Services:

I hereby certify: (1) the information provided is true and correct, (2) you are hereby authorized to investigate all bank, credit, and trade references, and said references are hereby authorized to release any requested information to you or your nominee, (3) such authorization shall extend to obtaining personal credit profile in considering this application and subsequently for the purposes of update, renewal or extension of such credit or additional credit and for reviewing or collecting the resulting account, (4) this information may be transmitted by us to you and by you to underwriter(s) for the purpose of granting me credit, either electronically or manually, and that by submitting this application, I take full responsibility for transmission thereof, (5) I am over 18 years of age, (6) I acknowledge my rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, (7) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (8) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.

The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into the binding contract); because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. If for any reason your application for business credit is denied, you have the right to a written statement of the specific reasons for the denial. To obtain the statement, please write to National Funding Inc., 9820 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego, California 92121.  Funding amount and credit approval is subject to a full credit profile review.