Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. All week, Democrats will celebrate the ways that this reform is already changing lives—showing you the benefits people have already experienced and discussing the ways this law will help all of us as it continues to take affect.
To begin the week, the administration is kicking off the Better Benefits, Better Health Initiative, which highlights the benefits of reform felt by consumers, families, and small businesses.
Historically, small businesses have generated more than two-thirds of all American jobs. But because of skyrocketing health care costs, many small businesses have either struggled to provide coverage or have faced tough hurdles for trying to do so. In fact, small businesses pay an average of 18 percent more for insurance than their larger competitors and have considerably less purchasing power. Starting a small business is challenging enough without the added burden of crippling health costs.
Under the Affordable Care Act, small businesses no longer face that same disadvantage. The White House has compiled a list of ways small businesses seek to benefit:
- If you own a small business with fewer than 25 full time-equivalent employees, you may qualify for a small business tax credit to help offset the costs of covering your employees. Small business owners can visit www.irs.gov/sbhtc to learn more.
- We estimate that up to 4 million small businesses could be eligible to receive these tax credits to make employees’ health coverage more affordable. And the tax credits will be worth a combined total of $40 billion over ten years
- Employer-based plans that provide health insurance to retirees ages 55-64 can get financial help through the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. This program is designed to maintain health coverage for retirees, workers, and employers. Visit www.errp.gov to learn more
- If one of your workers has been uninsured because of a pre-existing condition, he or she may be eligible to join the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. To find out about plans available in your State, please visit: www.pcip.gov.
- If you are in a new insurance plan, insurance companies cannot charge you or your workers a deductible or copays for recommended preventive services, like mammograms and flu shots. Click here to find a list of preventive services that will be covered without copays.
Check in throughout the week for more information about the Affordable Care Act and its already-crucial improvement on America’s health care system.