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ACA: Basics

Moving Forward…Protecting Small Businesses

Today, we celebrate the benefits in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for small businesses. For years, small business owners have struggled to find affordable health insurance for themselves and their employees. Small businesses pay up to 18% more than large firms for the same health insurance. Consequently, small firms are considerably less likely to provide health insurance for their workers, or, if they do, the benefits tend to be less comprehensive.

Women are especially hard hit, both because women-owned businesses are generally small in relation to male-owned businesses and because small businesses that don’t offer employee health coverage tend to have larger proportions of female workers. Fortunately, the ACA includes an incentive for small businesses to offer health insurance to their workers, in the form of a tax credit, in effect now. Millions of women working in small businesses could gain from this immediate benefit of health reform. [National Women’s Law Center, Tax Credits for Small Businesses Available Now] Further benefits of the Affordable Care Act for small businesses include:

  • Creating jobs. Before the ACA was passed, a study from the Small Business Majority found health care costs were rising so much that it would cost 178,000 jobs by 2018. The law lowers health costs to small businesses through tax credits and other cost containment measures, meaning they can use those savings and invest them in job creation. Small businesses create 70 percent of new jobs. [Small Business Majority, Health Care: Economic Research]
  • Ending ‘job lock.’ A prospective entrepreneur who has a preexisting medical condition, or has a family member with a preexisting condition, cannot leave their job, launch a new company and help grow our economy because they are “locked” in their old job and health coverage. The Small Business Majority conducted research with MIT economist Jonathan Gruber and found that 1.6 million small business workers suffer from “job lock.” The Affordable Care Act ends this job lock by providing the freedom and security for workers to choose the job they want, which will help give the economy a much-needed boost. [Small Business Majority, Health Care: Economic Research]
  • Allowing and encouraging small businesses to compete. The ACA lowers health costs for small businesses by allowing them to band together in health exchanges that will be created in each state. This will provide small businesses with more choices and allow them to receive the same rates as large companies. [Center for American Progress, 7/23/10]
  • Lowering premiums for 4 million small businesses. Right now, 4 million small businesses have access to tax credits to help with the cost of health premiums. Lower premiums means small businesses have the opportunity to offer their employees coverage, and it means they do not have to put the costs of providing health care over hiring more workers. [Small Business Majority, July 2010]
  • Ending insurance company abuses, including gender rating, which disproportionately harms women dominated small businesses. Under the law, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition like a C-section, drop coverage when you get sick or charge you more because of your health status or gender. Right now, insurance companies can no longer cap your lifetime benefits, and they are limits to the annual caps they can have until they are banned all together in 2014. Insurers in the small group market also must spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on your care, instead of CEO pay, profits and other administrative costs. [Healthcare.gov]

Health care reform is critical for Wisconsin’s small businesses. We must move forward on meaningful implementation of the Affordable Care Act to ensure that Wisconsin’s small businesses are open for business.

For more information, join these national webinars:


Your Bottom Line: What Healthcare Reform Means For Your Small Business

Details: This webinar will focus on what the new healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, means for small business.  It will focus on both federal and state provisions to help local small business owners understand how the law will affect them. Topics being discussed include:

  • Small business tax credits— who’s eligible for them and how to claim them
  • State insurance exchanges
  • High-risk pools
  • Shared responsibility
  • Cost containment
  • Tools and resources available for small businesses interested in learning more about the law.

A question and answer period will follow.

Hosts: U.S. PIRG and Small Business Majority

Date: Monday, March 21

Time: 11:00 AM CST

Location: Online Webinar

Registration: Please register here for this meeting.

Women Small Business Owners & The Affordable Care Act

Details:

This webinar will focus on what the new healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, means for women who are small business owners. It will focus on both federal and state provisions to help local small business owners understand how the law will affect them. Topics being discussed include:

  • Small business tax credits – who’s eligible for them and how to claim them
  • State insurance exchanges
  • High-risk pools
  • Shared responsibility
  • Cost containment
  • Tools and resources available for small businesses interested in learning more about the law

A question and answer period will follow.

Hosts: Mom’s Rising, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, Small Business Majority

Date: Thursday, March 24th

Time: 2:00 PM CST

Registration: Please register here for the meeting.

Further Small Business and Wisconsin Resources

Small Business Majority

9to5: National Association of Working Women

Healthcare.gov – Small Employers

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