Employer faces health-insurance challenges
DEAR HARRY: The birth of the Affordable Care Act has been fraught with problems, and I'm in the middle of them. My brother and I have operated our small corporation for more than 30 years. We have been modestly successful, earning very decent salaries and employing 60 full-time (and a number of part-time) employees. Over the years, we have paid for half of the medical-insurance premiums of all employees under our group plan. We have never had a single complaint from an employee. It now appears that we are required to make it "affordable." Our lawyer must be licking his chops at this new legal situation. Any money-saving ideas for us?
WHAT HARRY SAYS: Not really. Under the act, to avoid the penalty in the employer mandate, the health insurance offered must be affordable. You don't need your lawyer to tell you that it means that the employee's share of the premium may not exceed 8 percent of the employee's household income. This is likely the case with all your employees, because you pick up half the premium as a company expense. Of course, there may be borderline cases in which you'll have to get down to defining "household income." A side note: Those who oppose the act fear its success more than its potential failure.
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