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Health Reform and Small Businesses: Answering Your FAQs


As health reform becomes a reality, many small businesses are trying to sort through the confusion to find out which new rules apply to them. Here are the answers from USI Affinty to some of our most FAQ from small business owners:

1. I've heard about small business tax credits. When do they begin and am I eligible?

Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, certain small businesses with 10 to 25 full-time-equivalent employees may qualify for a tax credit for contributing to their employees' health coverage.

3. Will I be required to provide health care to my employees?

Employers with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees will be required to offer their full-time employees a "minimum essential coverage" health benefits package starting in 2014 or pay a penalty for not doing so. Employers who have fewer than 50 full-time-equivalents are not subject to the law.

The threshold is determined by the following formula, which you would calculate on a monthly basis:  Number of full-time employees (defined as those who average 30+ hours a week for that month) + All hours worked by part-time employees that month (120 hours) =  Number of full-time equivalents.

4. Do I have to provide coverage for my part-time employees?

No. Part-time employees are counted only in determining whether an employer meets the
small-business threshold for coverage under the law. In no case do employers have to provide health care coverage for part-time employees or pay penalties for part-time employees.

5. If I provide coverage, do I have to offer it to my new full-time employees on day one.

No. Employers subject to the law in 2014 are allowed a waiting period of 90 days without penalty. On day 91, they must provide new hires coverage or pay the penalty for not doing so.


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