MAY 2015

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MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP 94 DAYSPA | MAY 2015 the marketplace. The penalty Acme has to pay is 110 – 30 = 80 x $2,000 = $160,000. Where do the 37 em- ployees come in? That's a bit of a red herring. The company's penalty is triggered by a single employee who receives a federal subsidy. What if Acme saw this problem coming and decided to lay off 11 people, thus reducing its number of employees to 99 and allowing it to bypass the employer mandate during 2015? Nice idea, but don't get caught laying people off just to circumnavigate the law. Employ- ers must certify that they're not reducing the number of employees to avoid the mandate. All you'd need is one disgruntled manager to testify that she was told to lay off or fi re at least 11 people to com- ply with the mandate and you're in big trouble. SMALL BUSINESSES I promised those spa owners with fewer than 50 employees some im- portant info that's just for them, and here it is: If you have fewer than 50 employees and you still want to of- fer health insurance, you have the benefi t of using the Small Business Health Options Program or SHOP. This program is designed to give smaller businesses the buying power that previously only large employers had in the insurance marketplace. The advantages of using SHOP are that you can 1) compare plans on- line; 2) control the type and scope of coverage and how much you con- tribute to employee premiums; 3) get a tax credit of up to 50% of pre- mium costs; and 4) deduct the rest of the cost from your taxes. Larger employers (100 employees or more) can start using SHOP in 2016. If you're still wonky about navi- gating the stormy seas of the Af- fordable Care Act, you may want to consult your accountant. Any accountant who handles businesses should understand to whom the Act applies, as well as the tax credits. An accountant tells his client that he has some good news and some bad news. "Give me the bad news fi rst," says the client. The accountant tells him, "You missed the January 1, 2015, deadline for the employer mandate." Strick- en, the client cries, "My God, what's the good news?" Replies the ac- countant: "I have center courtside seats for the Lakers-Clippers game." In other words, if you aren't ready for the Affordable Care Act, for you there really is no good news. Michael L. Antoline, J.D., is a legal affairs writer and Champaign, Illinois- based attorney. Information in this column is general. Seek legal counsel for specifi c cases. MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP • Use FreeInfo #52

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