Upheld Health Care Law Will Affect Jewelers

The Supreme Court’s June 28 ruling upholding President Obama’s sweeping health care law could affect whether many jewelers and jewelry companies offer health insurance to their workers.

The law offers a variety of incentives and penalties to prod businesses to offer health insurance.

Small businesses—defined as those with 25 full-time employees, paying less than an average of $50,000 an employee for year—that provide health insurance have, since 2010, qualified for a small business tax credit of up to 35 percent of premium costs. Starting in 2014, the small business tax credit goes up to 50 percent. Small businesses that do not owe tax can carry the credit back or forward to other tax years.

The credit depends on the size of the company. Businesses can claim that credit using this form.  

In 2014, small businesses with fewer than 100 employees can purchase insurance through state-run Small Business Health Options Program Exchanges, which will offer plans that meet certain benefits and cost standards.

Once those exchanges are established, businesses with more than 50 full-time employees must pay a penalty if they don’t offer insurance that meets certain standards to their workers. (However, offering insurance isn’t mandatory; businesses can choose to pay the penalty.) The penalties start at $2,000 per full-time employee. However, the company’s first 30 full-time employees are deducted from this penalty payment calculation, meaning a company with 60 employees would pay the penalty for 30 workers. 

One-person businesses are required to buy insurance through the state health insurance exchanges under the “individual mandate,” though there are exemptions for hardship cases and those with religious objections.

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