State Forums for Employers on Federal Health Reform (PDF)
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services convened interactive forums in the fall, 2010 for Massachusetts employers to discuss the impact of federal health care reform on businesses in the Commonwealth. Area businesses and employers participated in order to engage in a dialogue with the state about national health care reform and what it means for businesses across the state.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers from State Employer Forums
This document addresses some of the questions that were raised by attendees at the Employer Forums.
Federal Health Reform and It's Impact on Massachusetts Employers (PPT) file size 1MB
This presentation was given at the State Employer Forums and provides an overview of key employer-related provisions in the Affordable Care Act as well as implementation in Massachusetts.
Guide to Federal Health Reform for Massachusetts Employers: Second Edition (PDF)
This guide provides a high-level overview of the federal health reform law signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010 and how it may impact Massachusetts employers, with suggestions on where to find more information.
Learn about the New Small Business Federal Tax Credit
The new national health reform law ("PPACA") signed into law by the President on March 30, 2010 includes a small business health care tax credit, effective immediately, which is designed to help small employers offer health insurance coverage for the first time or maintain coverage they already have.
The credit is available to small employers that pay at least half of the cost of individual coverage for their employees in 2010. The credit is specifically targeted to help small businesses and tax-exempt organizations that primarily employ low and middle-income workers.
For tax years 2010 to 2013, the maximum credit is 35 percent of premiums paid by eligible small business employers and 25 percent of premiums paid by eligible employers that are tax-exempt (non-profit) organizations. The maximum credit goes to the smallest employers - those with 10 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees - paying annual average wages of $25,000 or less, but partial credits are available for employers with up to 25 FTEs and with average wages up to $50,000. Because the eligibility rules are based in part on the number of FTEs, not the number of employees, businesses that use part-time help may qualify even if they employ more than 25 individuals.
Eligible small businesses can claim the credit as part of the general business credit starting with the 2010 income tax return they file in 2011. For tax-exempt organizations, the IRS will provide further information on how to claim the credit.
The Tax Credit will Help Small Businesses in Massachusetts
Massachusetts small businesses have been struggling with the rising costs of health insurance coverage, and this tax credit will help offset many of those costs, allowing these businesses to keep offering coverage, or to start offering for the first time, while protecting business' ability to continue to grow and create new jobs.
In April 2010, the IRS sent postcards out to 102,135 Massachusetts small businesses and tax-exempt organizations to make them aware of the benefits of the recently-enacted small business health care tax credit. That represents more than half of the employers in Massachusetts.
In late January 2011 Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to a number of small business trade organizations to ask for their help in getting the word out about the new Small Business Health Care Tax Credit created by the Affordable Care Act. Secretary Geithner's letter included an informative pamphlet about increased coverage and health exchanges for the organizations to send to their members to help them make the most of the new tax credit this filing season.
To mark the one-year anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, Health and Human Services highlighted the law's benefits for small businesses. On March 21, 2011 the Small Business Administration released a memo to help businesses understand their eligibility for the health reform law's tax credit. Read the memo at www.sba.gov/administrator/7608/14873. Health and Human Services also released a new flyer for small businesses available at www.healthcare.gov (PDF).
For More Information
The IRS has issued several materials and resources to help employers determine if they are eligible, and if so, how to go about getting the tax credit:
This information is provided by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.