The Obama administration has launched Business.USA.gov/healthcare, a website that provides educational materials for employers on how the Affordable Care Act may affect them and their businesses. The site will act as a hub that connects employers to informational content on tax credits and other provisions of the law from the Small Business Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department.
"The Affordable Care Act helps level the playing field for small businesses, expanding their bargaining power and their ability to offer the kind of valuable benefit packages that attract and retain top-quality workers," said Jacob J. Lew, the U.S. treasury secretary.
The release of the new website comes as surveys show many business owners don't fully understand the Affordable Care Act. Data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows almost half of small-business owners are concerned about how the law will affect their company.
"There are so many pieces to this health care plan that it is almost impossible to keep up with all of it," said Nina Shatz, director of Red Ball Promotions (asi/346567). "I do not think we are anywhere near implementation as there are too many dissenting opinions regarding much of what is being suggested."
Many parts of the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in March 2010, are already in effect, including new consumer protections and modifications to health care coverage. Starting October 1, 2013, individuals may be eligible for lower costs on their monthly premiums and self-employed individuals and small businesses may be eligible for tax credits to help with the costs of coverage.