Health Care Reform: ACA Taxes

A little information about the new taxes to come in 2014 courtesy of Blue Shield:

What is it?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that taxes be collected in order to fund certain provisions of health reform. Beginning January 1, 2014, there are two new taxes that will go into effect. Below is a summary of what they are and how you can prepare.

The Health Insurer Tax – This annual tax is designed to offset a portion of the expenses related to providing premium subsidies and tax credits to qualified individuals purchasing coverage through exchanges. This tax will be applicable to all small groups effective January 1, 2014, and is expected to be approximately 2.3% of dues and/or premiums.

Transitional Reinsurance Contribution Program Tax – This tax will be used to fund transitional reinsurance programs in each state to help cover costs of the highest-risk individuals in the non-group market. It is effective from 2014 to 2016 and applies to all small groups as of January 1, 2014. In 2014, the tax is estimated to be $5.25 per Blue Shield member, which is approximately 1.5% of dues and/or premiums.

What does this mean to me and my employees?

When these taxes go into effect, customers’ dues and/or premiums will increase by an amount that covers the new taxes. Starting with January 2014 bills, the new taxes will be included as a percentage of the dues and/or premiums.

Small group employers will continue to have a 12-month rate guarantee and the plan base rates will continue to be in effect for 12 months. As mentioned above, however, in January 2014, the two taxes will be added to plan dues and/or premiums.

Health Care Reform: Small Business Tax Credits

In regards to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act, small employers (those who have less than 50 full-time equivalent employees
(FTE)) are not required to offer their employees health coverage. However, an
employer with 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees may be eligible for
incentives from the federal government to provide their employees with health


Many small employers do not realize they have the
opportunity to claim a federal income tax credit on their annual tax returns.
Unfortunately, a very low percentage of qualified business owners are taking
advantage of this credit. Here are the IRS guidelines to be eligible.

  1. The expenses that an employer can count towards the tax
    credit includes the premiums that are paid for each employee. The employer must
    contribute at least 50% of the cost of the health care coverage for employees.
  2.  Must have less than 25 FTE workers when totaling all
    individuals’ hours of employment.
  3.  Employers must pay their workers an average of less
    than $50,000 per year to qualify. The smaller and lower wage employers will
    receive a larger tax credit.

If your business meets these requirements, we encourage you
to contact a Health Care Reform Agent (such as our Health Department here at Sweeney & Sweeney) to verify your options and help you
calculate your eligibility of a tax credit.