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Making Sense of Health Care Reform: Seven Basics for Small-Business Owners

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It is important to remember that health care reform is still being worked on and many of the changes will take years to implement. It isn't necessary for small business owners to understand every aspect of health care reform, but business owners should be familiar with the following six changes. These changes are presented to raise awareness of the impact that health care reform will have on small businesses.

  1. Small-Business Tax Credits – Understand how federal tax credits can help small businesses pay employee health-care insurance and employer health insurance premiums. Learn how to claim these tax credits and the eligibility criteria.
  2. The Grandfather Provision – Learn why Grandfathered plans are not subject to certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act. Understand which requirements are effected and who the Grandfather status applies to. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a Grandfathered plan?
  3. Non-Discrimination – Learn how the non-discrimination measure will benefit people with health issues. Also learn how this measure affects highly compensated employees.
  4. FSA, HSA, and HRA Plans and Over-the-Counter Medicines – New guidelines have been set in place for FSA, HSA, and HRA plans. Although most are the same, some have new exceptions. Learn about these exceptions and claims for eligible expenses. Over-the-counter medicines are also affected by this guideline.
  5. Young Adult Coverage – Changes in the Affordable Care Act include changes in coverage for young adult dependents. Before the Act, there was a cap on how long a dependent child could be covered on an employee's health insurance. Learn what changes have been made to benefit employees with young adult children.
  6. W-2 Reporting – Changes in the way small businesses report health-care insurance on Form W-2. Who must file this change and who is exempt?
  7. The CLASS Program – How the voluntary long-term care (LTC) insurance program under the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Program (CLASS) can benefit disadvantaged Americans. Gain an understanding of how this program plans to decrease reliability on Medicaid.

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