You’ve heard of the Affordable Care Act. But have you heard of the Small Business Health Care Relief Act of 2016? As with all legislation, both of these bills are having (in the case of the Affordable Care Act) or could have (in the case of the Small Business Health Care Relief Act of 2016) an effect on you as a small business owner. The purpose of this second law, if passed, is to enable business owners to continue to provide healthcare reimbursement which is currently blocked by the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act brought many changes for small businesses. One of these changes was the elimination of one avenue that smaller businesses had been using to reimburse employees for healthcare costs. Often businesses that were just getting started or did not have a large staff would not be able to provide full healthcare insurance coverage for employees. Some businesses chose to instead reimburse employees for a portion of healthcare costs. When the Affordable Care Act became law, this practice became illegal. Employers were no longer able to offer this benefit to their employees.
Lawmakers, recognizing the burden that this aspect of the law placed on employers and employees alike, introduced legislation that would allow employers to continue the long-standing practice. The bill was passed in the United States House of Representatives and now awaits vote in the Senate. If the bill is passed by the Senate and the bill is signed into law by the president, small businesses would once again be allowed to provide the benefit of healthcare reimbursement to their employees. You can visit the government’s tracking website to read more about the bill (H.R. 5447) or check its status.
Keeping up on guidelines that affect the payroll and HR functions of your small business can be a full-time job. If you prefer to actually oversee the core functions of your business, you might consider delegating some of that responsibility to the reliable staff at The Payroll Department. We have been handling payroll operations for over 25 years. Call us at (317) 852-2568 to see what we can do for you.
-Jessica of The Payroll Department Blog