Large Business and Health Insurance.

By: Taylor

Any business having more than 50 employees is generally considered as a large business. There are many new rules and regulations in the Affordable Care Act which may affect big or large businesses. These important provisions may relate to tax credits and reporting, early retiree coverage, grandfathered plans and other aspects of group health insurance plans for large businesses. Some of such provisions have been discussed below.

The Affordable Care Act does not bind employers to provide health insurance. But from 2014, large businesses not providing adequate health insurance will be required to pay an assessment to employees receiving premium tax credits to buy their own insurance.
Job-based coverage effective on March 23, 2010 has been exempted from certain provisions in the law. These plans which have been basically same since then are known as Grandfathered plans. But they are free to enroll people after that date and still be called a grandfathered plan. Status of the plan depends on date of its creation. These plans have to end lifetime limits and arbitrary cancellation of the coverage. They have to cover children under 26 years of age and should provide a summary of benefits. They are not required to cover free preventive care, guarantee to appeal and protect consumer’s choice of doctor.
Employer-based plans providing health insurance to early retirees ages 55-64 are eligible to get financial help for paying for high-cost early retirees. They can avail the help through Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. It helps to lower cost of premium and employer health costs. The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program or ERRP offers reimbursement to participating employment-based plans for a portion of the costs of health benefits. It includes early retirees, their spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents.
Employers do not require reporting the cost of insurance on employee W-2s from 2011 as it is optional. The reporting was aimed at being informational and providing transparency into health care costs. The amounts reported are not taxable. But employers have to report cost of coverage of an employer-sponsored group health plan on an employee’s Form W-2. Many of them may get transition relief for tax-year 2012 and beyond. The amount reported does not affect tax liability.

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