With new Health Insurance Marketplaces (also referred to as Exchanges) open through the Affordable Care Act, self-employed business owners can purchase private insurance coverage from a range of options using the Healthcare.gov website.
The following are important dates that self-employed business owners need to know if they want to sign up for coverage for this year.
For self-employed small business owners, open enrollment for 2014 coverage ends March 31, 2014. The exception is if a self-employed person has a qualifying life event that provides them with a special enrollment period such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of a job.
The next Open Enrollment period is proposed to begin on November 15, 2014 for health insurance coverage that begins January 1, 2015.
To browse coverage options, assess potential subsidies, and purchase your plan online through the individual marketplace, simply go to www.healthcare.gov. For more information about other provisions affecting self-employed business owners under the Affordable Care Act, go to sba.gov/healthcare.
For businesses with 1 to 49 full-time-equivalent employees, nothing has changed. These businesses are still not required to provide health insurance for their employees.
If a business has 50 to 99 full-time-equivalent employees, it's still mandatory to offer health insurance to employees under the Affordable Care Act, but with the new revision, businesses get another year—until 2016—to comply.
Employers with more than 100 full-time-equivalent employees need to offer affordable insurance to 70 percent of their full-time workforce now—phasing in to 95 percent starting in 2015.
The Pennsylvania SBDC continues to conduct “Affordable Care Act 101” seminars statewide to educate and inform small businesses in the Keystone State on the Act’s provisions. The following ACA resources are available to help small business owners:
Live, in-person ACA 101 seminars: to find an SBDC event in your region, visit the online events calendar.
Archived, on-demand ACA 101 seminar: to view a recorded version of the ACA 101 seminar presented by the SBDC, please visit the ACA webinars page.
Live webinars: ACA 101 seminars hosted by the SBA occur each Thursday at 2:00 p.m. EST, to register visit the SBA healthcare website.