Step-by-step guide on Healthcare Reform Law - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Step-by-step guide on Healthcare Reform Law

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The Retail Merchants Association offers free classes on the Healthcare Reform Law. So we sat in on the class for you, and broke it down into five easy steps.

Step 1: Businesses need to count how many people they employ more than 30 hours a week. Those are considered full-time workers.

Step 2: If you have 50 or more, you're not required to offer them health insurance until January of 2015.

Said Nancy Thomas, President of the Retail Merchants Association, "The good news is they've given us a reprieve for businesses with 50 and over. The bad news to that is it will just allow us to procrastinate a little more."

Companies that have 49 or fewer full-time workers do not have to offer them health insurance. But companies that do, and have fewer than 25 full-timers, may qualify for a tax credit.

Said Dorothye Brodersen, CFO of co-owner small business InfoTel, "We're a small business not subject to most of the healthcare regulation right now. But we always have paid 100% for our employees insurance."

Step 3: Go to healthcare.gov or call 1-800-706-7893 to buy insurance through the public exchange.

John Scott is a health insurance specialist with Experient Health and the instructor of the RMA class. He explained, "If you're a business and you need a tax credit, you need to go through the exchange. Outside the exchange, the rules are all the same, just the plans and carriers may be different."

Remember, Scott says if you buy insurance directly from the insurance company or a broker outside the exchange, your business won't get the tax credit.

Step 4: Employers can either contribute a set amount toward their employees' premiums, or buy a plan for all of them.

And Step 5: You have until March 31, 2014 to sign up for coverage. Coverage that was already in place before March 23, 2010 may be grand-fathered in and you can keep it, but your rates may change.

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