New healthcare laws emphasize business size

Updated May 15, 2013

Your staff is the most important part of your business, but under the new healthcare laws, it might start costing you a lot more.

According to Karen Field of the accounting and advisory company KPMG, the new U.S. healthcare laws created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) could cause aftermarket businesses to make sweeping changes to their healthcare and insurance coverage.

Speaking at the HDA Truck Pride annual meeting Friday in Orlando, Field says the PPACA was created to get more people in the United States health insurance. Do to that, the law has greatly increased the level of responsibility businesses have to cover their employees — particularly businesses with 50 or more employees.

When many aspects of the act enter Federal law in 2014, all employers with 50 or more employees will be forced to fundamentally change the healthcare options they provide their employees (and dependents).

Field says employers will be required to provide adequate and affordable options to all staff members, and businesses will risk large fines if new healthcare options are not provided by or inadequate.

For the purpose of the PPACA, a full-time employee is defined as anyone working more than 30 hours a week in your business, Field says. Part time employees are included into your total staff on a sliding scale. To find your total number of part-time associates, take the total number of part-time hours you allot every month and divide that by 120. That number plus your full-time employees creates your total staff number as it relates to PPACA.

Field says employers with less than 50 employees can insure their employees independently, or allow them to select their own insurance and reimbursement them for cost.

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