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Public Statements

Blog: The Affordable Care Act, You & Your Business

Statement

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Coloradans agree that no one should go broke simply because they get sick and that everyone should have access to affordable health coverage. That is one of the reasons why I was proud to stand with middle-class families and small businesses to support the Affordable Care Act.

As the law goes into effect, it will start supporting businesses and consumers in different ways. To help Coloradans navigate the law as its provisions go into effect over the next several years, I compiled some of the best resources for consumers and businesses here.

These frequently asked questions, links and resources will help Coloradans looking for more information about how the Affordable Care Act affects them:

General Information
Info for Consumers
Info for Businesses
Helpful Links
General Information

What does the Affordable Care Act do?

The Affordable Care Act puts in place comprehensive health insurance reforms designed to increase access to affordable health coverage by holding insurance companies accountable and fostering competition.

The law contains numerous provisions aimed at protecting consumers, including requiring health insurers to offer coverage regardless of health status or pre-existing conditions, providing cost-free preventive services, ensuring all Americans have access to affordable health insurance options and devoting more money to health care instead of profits.

Many states, including Colorado, have set up state-based online marketplaces to make buying health coverage easier and more affordable (www.ConnectforHealthCO.com).

For more information, visit www.HealthCare.gov

Info for Consumers

Where can I find information about Colorado's new online health insurance marketplace?

You can learn about Colorado's health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, by visiting www.ConnectforHealthCO.com or www.HealthCare.gov.
To learn more about how the law and marketplace affect your business, visit www.usabusiness.gov/healthcare or www.sba.gov/healthcare.

Do I qualify for Colorado's marketplace?

Colorado's new health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, is a one-stop online location for Coloradans who do not receive health coverage through an employer. Additionally, this marketplace is available to small businesses -- those with fewer than 50 full-time employees -- that wish to shop for more competitive insurance options.
Colorado also recently expanded the state's Medicaid eligibility. To determine if you are Medicaid-eligible, contact the Colorado Department of Human Services (www.Colorado.gov/PEAK or call 1-800-221-3943).
Do I qualify for a tax credit?

The Affordable Care Act provides premium support in the form of tax credits for individuals earning up to $46,000 per year and for a family of three earning just under $80,000 a year.

To determine whether you or your family qualify for premium support, check out the calculator at www.ConnectforHealthCO.com/how-it-works/calculators/ or go to www.HealthCare.gov.

How will this law affect the cost of insurance for me and my family?

The Affordable Care Act has many new provisions that will help Coloradans. For example, it prohibits insurance companies from denying health coverage based on pre-existing conditions, cancelling coverage without cause or placing lifetime or annual limits on benefits.

Now insurance companies will even be held accountable for unjustified rate increases and for the ways they spend your premium dollars.

Consumers also will have access to no-cost preventive services like screenings and vaccinations, and young adults can stay on their parents' insurance plan until they turn 26 years old.

To make sure plans in the marketplace are affordable, the Affordable Care Act provides premium support in the form of tax credits for individuals earning up to $46,000 a year and for a family of three earning just under $80,000 a year. To determine whether you or your family qualifies for premium support, you can use a calculator at http://www.ConnectforHealthCO.com/how-it-works/calculators/ or go to https://www.HealthCare.gov/will-i-qualify-to-save-on-monthly-premiums/.
Info for Businesses

How does the Affordable Care Act help small businesses?

The Affordable Care Act increases access to affordable health coverage, holds insurance companies accountable and fosters competition in the insurance marketplace.

Under the law, Colorado businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees will have access to a new Colorado health insurance marketplace called Connect for Health Colorado to shop online for more competitive insurance options.
For more information, visit www.sba.gov/healthcare or www.business.usa.gov/healthcare.

I employ fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees. How does the law affect me?

Your business is not required to provide health insurance to your employees. However, you may be able to shop for more competitive health insurance for your employees through the new online marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado.
Starting in 2014, businesses with fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees may be eligible for tax credits up to 50 percent of the employer's share of premiums (average employee salaries must be below $50,000).
Does my business qualify for a tax credit?

The Affordable Care Act provides tax credits for businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees who want to provide affordable health insurance to their employees. To learn more, visit www.ConnectforHealthCO.com/let-us-help/businesses/calculators-small-business/ or www.HealthCare.gov.
I employ more than 50 full-time equivalent employees. How does the law affect me?

Starting in 2015, businesses with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees will be subject to the law's employer responsibility provisions.

Businesses that provide their employees with insurance must ensure it is (i.) affordable -- that is, the employee's share of his or her premium must not exceed 9.5 percent of household income; and (ii.) provides minimum value -- meaning, covering at least 60 percent of covered health care expenses.

For businesses choosing not to provide insurance, their employees may purchase coverage through Connect for Health Colorado. These businesses will be required to pay a portion of their employees' health coverage premiums.
For more information, visit www.sba.gov/healthcare or www.business.usa.gov/healthcare.

Helpful Links and Resources

Connect for Health Colorado: www.ConnectforHealthCO.com
HealthCare.gov: www.HealthCare.gov
U.S. Small Business Administration: www.sba.gov/healthcare
Business USA: www.business.usa.gov/healthcare
Internal Revenue Service: www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act-Tax-Provisions-Home
Consumer Reports: www.consumerreports.org/health/resources/pdf/ncqa/The_Affordable_Care_Act-You_and_Your_Family.pdf
Kaiser Family Foundation: http://kff.org/health-reform/video/youtoons-obamacare-video/


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