What does Health Care Reform Really Mean for Kentucky Small Business by onesourcebenefits


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									What does Health Care Reform Really Mean for Kentucky Small Business

Health care reform is expected to lower costs for Kentucky small businesses, allowing
them to attract and retain good employees with affordable group health insurance

Small businesses are those with no more than 100 employees. Health care reform is
expected to lower costs for small businesses in Kentucky, allowing them to attract and
retain good employees with comprehensive group health insurance plans. Kentucky is
one of the states that have gone ahead with establishing a Health Benefit Exchange.
There is a lot of debate on whether the Affordable Care Act has lowered the costs of
Kentucky group health insurance for small employers.

The Kentucky health exchange which was established in July, 2012, is expected to
create a virtual marketplace for small businesses and individuals to compare coverage,
provider networks and costs when shopping for insurance plans. Carrie Banahan,
director of the exchange office says that Kentucky will receive about $60 million in
grants to develop and implement Medicaid and exchange systems which will be
supported by federal funds through 2014. The KY health insurance exchange is
expected to be self-sustaining.

Health care reform makes small employers eligible for a health care tax credit. Starting
in 2014, the small-business tax credit will go up to 50% for qualifying small businesses.
The tax credit is expected to help businesses afford the cost of covering their
employees’ health insurance. Small business owners can choose from affordable
private Kentucky health plans available through the state health exchange. To qualify
for the tax credit, small businesses must satisfy the following conditions:

   •   The employer should have fewer than 25 full-time employees or its equivalent
       (for instance, less than 50 half-time employees)
   •   The employer should provide at least half of the cost of health care coverage for
       some of its workers based on the single rate
   •   The average annual wages that the employer pays is below $50,000.

The exchange is therefore expected to help small businesses save money, allowing
them to hire and retain good workers.

Small businesses with 50 or more employees are required to offer health insurance to
their full-time employees. Plans available through the Kentucky health insurance
exchange will include categories such as Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The
Bronze level represents the minimum coverage requirement, with the Kentucky health
insurance plan covering at least 60 percent of the cost of each health service or
treatment. Silver, Gold, and Platinum represent higher levels of coverage. However,
questions still remain as to the program’s management costs, which critics say, will be
very high.
Kentucky group insurance plans are now available in the open market. A licensed and
experienced health insurance broker can help you purchase group coverage from
leading KY health insurance companies such as Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield,
Humana, Aetna and UnitedHealthOne.

About the Author

                   Tracy McManamon is a licensed health insurance consultant
                   offering low cost, comprehensive Kentucky Health Insurance plans.
                   Visit his website www.kyfreehealthquotes.com for free quote on all
                   health plans. Toll free number: 877-549-1212.

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