The Affordable Healthcare program, Obamacare, got off to a rocky start on technical and political levels. Woodworking companies may benefit from the fixes being made now when insurance exchanges specifically for small business open November 1 - a month later than expected - for insurance that kicks in January 1, 2014.
Some basic facts for small woodshop owners:
- For 2014, the SHOP Marketplace is open to employers with 50 or fewer full-time workers.
- SHOP lets you you offer and how much you pay toward employee premiums.
- You can compare health plans online on an apples-to-apples basis
- Your business may qualify for a health care tax credit worth up to 50% of the premium costs.
- You can still deduct from your taxes the rest of your premium costs not covered by the tax credit. Beginning 2014 the tax credit is available only for plans purchased through SHOP.
You apply online, either by yourself or have your broker do it. That creates a website where your employes can sign up for themselves.
In 2014, SHOP is open to employers with 50 or fewer full-time employees. Beginning in 2016, all SHOPs will be open to employers with up to 100 FTEs. If you're self-employed with no employees, you can get coverage through the individual market Health Insurance Marketplace, but not through SHOP.
If you plan to use SHOP, you must offer coverage to all of your full-time employees–generally those working 30 or more hours per week on average. Go here to learn more about SHOP for your woodworking business.