A key provision of the Affordable Care Act will take effect next week. Beginning on October 1st, the health insurance exchange, known as the SHOP Marketplace, will be open for business. Let’s take a look at how the marketplace affects small business and what small business owners should keep in mind.

All employers affected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (which is most employers) must provide notices regarding the health insurance exchange to all employees by October 1st.  The notices explain how the marketplace works, available subsidies and where to find more information. Model notices for Colorado employers can be found at connectforhealthco.com.

Businesses with less than 50 employees can also purchase group health insurance plans through the exchange. Many small businesses that purchase insurance through the exchange will qualify for a tax credit. For instance, small businesses with less than 25 employees that pay average salaries of less than $50,000 will be eligible for a tax credit that will cover 50% of premiums. So, purchasing through the exchange may be a great option for small businesses that have felt they can’t offer health benefits because the premiums are too cost prohibitive. After October 1st, employers can visit connectforhealthco.com to compare plans, review pricing and get more information on available tax credits.

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