Health insurance is often considered one of the most important employment benefits. Even when offered a competitive salary, individuals may turn down positions simply because they do not offer health coverage. With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, it can be difficult to know what is required for your Florida business and what is simply a solid business practice.
Coverage Requirements Based on Number of Employees
Health insurance requirements are determined by federal law in the state of Florida, and there are no state laws that require employers to offer health insurance to workers. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, however, companies with 50 or more full-time employees can be penalized if one or more of their workers get insurance through the Marketplace. If you have 50 or more employees who work an average of 30+ hours per week or 130+ hours per month, you must avoid health insurance to avoid penalties.
If you have 49 or fewer employees, this employer mandate does not apply. While you aren’t required to offer health insurance, you may choose to do so for the benefit of your employees, especially since the Affordable Care Act expanded small business insurance options.
Informing Employees of the Affordable Care Act
In many cases, employers are required to tell their employees about the options available through the Affordable Care Act. If your business is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, you must tell your employees about the basic provisions available through the ACA. Though there are no penalties for failing to provide this information, it is advisable to stay on the right side of the law.
Tax Credits and Insurance Options
Employers who opt to offer health insurance as an employee benefit have a variety of options available. And since many large employers routinely offer health insurance to employees, you may have to do the same to attract qualified employees to your company.
Companies with 24 or fewer full-time employees can often qualify for tax credits that cushion the financial impact of providing health insurance. The Small Business Health Options Program, also known as SHOP, is the healthcare marketplace for small businesses. If you use this program, you must meet certain requirements.
- A certain percentage of employees that qualify for coverage must enroll, otherwise the plan may not be available to your company.
- You must offer your SHOP-purchased plan to all full-time employees.
You can also sign up for coverage through a broker or agent. Regardless of where you choose to get insurance coverage for your employees, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on the health status of any of your employees.
Make Sure Your Small Business Is Up to Code
Small businesses are at the heart of Florida’s economy, and as a business owner, it’s important to make sure you meet all state and federal standards. Whether you’re just getting your business off the ground or just want to make sure you’re in compliance with health insurance requirements, contact the Law Office of Todd M. Kurland today at (561) 693-4514.