Health Care Reform What It Means to You

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the sweeping new health care law signed by President Barack Obama in March, will likely not directly affect most of the mom-and-pop stores in the jewelry industry, experts say. The law offers a variety of incentives and penalties to prod businesses to offer health insurance to their employees. For businesses with fewer than 100 full-time employees, including sole proprietorships, the law will create, by 2014, nonmandatory state-run insurance pools or exchanges. (The official title is SHOPS, Small Business Health Options Programs.) The Congressional Budget Office estimates that small businesses that use these exchanges will see premiums fall between 1 percent and 4 percent. Until the exchanges are established, businesses with less than 25 full-time employees that make an average of less than $50,000 will be eligib

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