SMBs Still Need Guidance for ACA, SBA Sets Up Online Info

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    Though the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides exemptions for small businesses that employ fewer than 50 members, all other businesses are required to provide health care. Companies that currently have more than 50 employees, but fewer than 100, have until 2016 to provide insurance options. Those small to midsize businesses (SMBs) with more than 100 employees must offer their workers coverage during the current year.

    Those are the basic points of how the ACA is hitting SMBs across the U.S. In addition to these facts, many other complexities for small businesses have owners shaking their heads in confusion.

    As Will Glaros, benefits manager and partner with the Meyers Glaros Group in Indiana, told BusINess Magazine, what could get some shops in trouble is the fact that counting heads doesn’t just mean those who work a full 40-hour week:

    “It gets a little more complex than that. I won’t go into the detail, but it’s basically how you count to 100 and it’s not quite as simple as saying, ‘We only have 50 full-time employees. We don’t have to comply until the following year.’ Because if you add in part-time employees with the calculations the government’s developed, you could be well over 100 and have to comply this year.”

    For SMBs that still need help making their way through the complexities in information and forms related to the ACA, the Small Business Association (SBA) has set up its own Health Care area on its website. Different categories of businesses can find information based on organization size. Detailed articles are linked here, including those for:

    These posts spell out which provisions a business of that size should follow within the ACA, along with information on W-2 reporting of health care costs, flexible spending account limitations and Medicare withholding information.

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    To go along with these articles, the SBA teamed up with the Department of Health and Human Services and Small Business Majority to offer weekly free webinars for SMB owners to learn more about how the ACA affects their business. Links to register for the webinars can be found on the SBA Health Care page. Webinars run every Thursday at 2:00 p.m. EST. They began in early February and run through the end of March. On Tuesdays, the webinars are featured in Spanish.

    Also found on the SBA Health Care site is information on the Health Insurance Marketplace, which is offered to help small business owners and individuals find coverage or shop for other insurance options. The SBA also provides a glossary of health care related terms, a link to the full text of the ACA and its provisions, and a link to other ACA training materials for SMBs.

    Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ or Twitter.

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