DEAR PROCON.ORG READERS: We’re being outspent by biased organizations that use millions of dollars to misinform you. This week we’re asking our readers to help us. We survive on donations, which keep us independent and ad-free. If every one of our readers gave $3 now, the price of a cup of coffee, our fundraiser would be over. We’re a small nonprofit, but it costs a lot to keep our servers, research staff, and programs going. ProCon.org is your oasis on the Internet for unbiased information on important issues. If ProCon.org is useful to you, please take a minute to keep us online and ad-free. Thank you.
National Public Radio (NPR) provided the following in its May 26, 2010 article "What the Health Law Means to You" by Phil Galewitz, on www.npr.org:
"It depends on the size of your firm. Companies with fewer than 50 workers won't face any penalties if they don't offer insurance.
Companies can get tax credits to help buy insurance if they have 25 or fewer employees and a workforce with an average wage of up to $50,000.
These tax credits of up to 35 percent of the cost of premiums have already been made available.
Firms with more than 50 employees that do not offer coverage will have to pay a fee of up to $2,000 per full-time employee if any of their workers get government-subsidized insurance coverage in the exchanges. The first 30 workers will be excluded from the assessment."
Are all employers required to provide health insurance?
[Editor’s Note: We have been unable to find any pros to this question, and if you know of any, please let us know. Aug. 23, 2010]
Stephanie Cutter, JD, Assistant to US President for Special Projects, wrote in the May 24, 2010 White House Blog post "Donuts, Health Insurance, and Big Businesses":
"Under the new law, employers with more than 50 fulltime workers will not be required to offer health insurance to their workers. However, the employer will have to pay a shared responsibility fee if their employee purchases coverage through a new exchange with the help of a premium tax credit targeted toward middle to low income families. In other words, employers can't be 'free riders' and let the taxpayers pay for the cost of covering their workers.
If the insurance provided by an employer would cost workers more than 9.5 percent of their household income, that insurance is considered unaffordable and workers have a new option: purchase affordable coverage on the new health insurance exchanges, and receive a tax credit to make it easier to get the coverage they need.
Under this scenario, employers would no longer be paying to provide benefits to their employee. Instead, they would contribute up to $3,000 to help support the cost of the tax credit provided by the government.
If the employer provides no insurance at all, and any employee obtains premium tax credits through the new exchanges, the employer would pay a maximum of $2,000 per full time employee."