If you're self-employed or a small business owner, the contradictory responses from small business advocates to yesterday's Supreme Court decision might have left you confused about whether the decision is good news or bad for your business. Some say the Affordable Care Act will keep your healthcare costs in check, others say it will jack them up.
The President claims the law will help small employers, his opponents say the opposite. Some suggest that would-be entrepreneurs with new-found affordable access to insurance will be unleashed from corporate cuffs. Others say costs of insurance for the self-employed will grow out of control. It's no wonder that hundreds of comments from Yahoo! Small Business Advisor readers reveal widespread confusion and politically motivated biases about the law.
Who's a small business owner to believe? Sitting down and reading the law yourself, which you can do here, might not be as cumbersome as you think. The word "employer" appears on only 123 pages of the 955-page law. Short of doing that, however, there are a few places you can get more factual information to learn exactly how the Affordable Care Act will affect your business and your employees.
Healthcare.gov is a website created by the Department of Health and Human Services to explain the various aspects of the law to the public.
- Their fact sheet on small business and the Affordable Care Act is available here.
- A video explains the tax credits available to employers that have fewer than 25 employees and provide health insurance to them. It also addresses state exchanges that are being set up to provide insurance access to small businesses.
- For small businesses who want to provide insurance to employees, another video walks you through finding a health plan.
- A Frequently Asked Questions section provides answers to questions such as, "Am I required to offer health insurance to my employees?" and "Are there small business tax increases in the law?" The answers to those questions are "No," and "No."
- One section addresses specific questions of the self-employed.
In addition to Healthcare.gov, the IRS offers information to employers regarding the tax credit for providing health insurance.
- Here's a page to help you discover how the credit could help you, if you are eligible, and how to claim it.
- Another page has links to answers to questions such as how to calculate the credit and how to determine if the number of your FTEs and their average annual wages qualifies you for the credit.
- The IRS also explains in a YouTube video how small businesses can take advantage of the health care tax credit.
- And for even more information, check out this long list of links to additional documents, such as press releases, multimedia content, and legal guidance on the Affordable Care Act.
You might not like what you learn, but at least you will be an accurately informed small business owner and voter come November. Let fellow Yahoo! Small Business Advisor readers know what you find out by posting a comment.