September 4, 2012
Early next year the Virginia General Assembly will be making several important decisions about health care reform. The one that may have the most impact for small businesses is the creation of a Health Benefits Exchange, or HBE. An HBE is a new way for small businesses (and individuals) to buy health insurance. It allows many small businesses to join together in one pool to get better rates on health insurance. The HBE will mainly be an online marketplace and should allow small businesses lots of choices. The HBE should also give really clear information about costs and coverage to make choosing and easier task. The Commonwealth Institute has a good background piece on HBEs. It can be found at http://www.
When VMSA surveyed small business people about support for the HBE, over 80% of small business people support the idea of the Health Benefit Exchange. You can see the full survey at http://www.virginia-
The Virginia Main Street Alliance will be hosting a short educational presentation for small businesses in the Fredericksburg area on Monday, September 24, at 8:00 am at Foode Restaurant (1006 C/D Caroline Street) near downtown Fredericksburg.
There is a federal income tax credit for small businesses that provide health insurance for their employees. The credit will carry over into the future if it is not all used in one year. IRS form 8941 contains information http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-
Virginia Organizing and the Virginia Interfaith Center are hosting a training for citizens on a number of different issues, including health care reform, at the “Social Justice U”, 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 30 at Holy Apostles Church (1593 Lynnhaven Parkway, Virginia Beach). Everyone is welcome.
As part of the transition to covering people with pre-existing conditions, the federal government has set up a Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan in Virginia. Anyone who has been uninsured for at least six months and has a pre-existing condition may be eligible. Monthly premiums run from $93 – $401.
Go to www.healthcare.gov/law/
A recent study found that small businesses pay 18% more than large businesses for health insurance coverage. The large pooling and buying power that the Health Benefit Exchange will provide can help change this equation. See http://content.healthaffairs.
When Congress passed health care reform in 2010, they built in a couple years of implementation. The new law will not be fully in effect until January of 2014. At that time the new health insurance exchanges will start operating. See http://www.kff.org/
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