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Health Care Reform Helps Small Businesses Offer Coverage: Report
Date:9/2/2010

e Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office estimates these tax credits could provide as much as $40 billion in support to small businesses over the next 10 years, reducing health insurance premiums by 8 percent to 11 percent by 2016, the report says.

More savings will be seen by 2020 through provisions that reduce administrative spending and increase competition among insurers participating in state and federal insurance exchanges, Davis said.

To qualify for the tax credits, eligible employers must pay at least 50 percent of their employees' health insurance premiums, according to the report. The credits are determined by the size and average wage paid by the company.

The tax credits will increase to 50 percent of the premium contributions in 2014, but they are limited to two years. Tax-exempt groups are also eligible for the tax credits, but at a lower rate, according to the report.

In addition to the tax credits, several other of the act's provisions going into effect this year will benefit small businesses and their employees:

  • Limits on administrative costs. Starting this year, health plans will have to report the amount of premiums not spent on health care. In 2011, plans insuring small businesses and individuals will have to limit spending on administrative costs to not more than 20 percent of premiums. Plans that spend more will have to give rebates to enrollees.
  • The act also requires state and federal governments to review any increase in premiums, which could also keep costs low.
  • In 2014, small businesses will be able to insure their employees through state health insurance exchanges, which pool members in programs to lower costs. All plans will limit out-of-pocket costs to $5,950 for a single person and $11,900 for a family. Deductibles for small businesses can be no larger than $2,000 for a single person or $4,000 for a family.
  • All plans sold in exchanges will have to provide a sta
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