Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island To Help Small Businesses Calculate Impact of Healthcare Reform

(Providence, RI, 3.7.2011)
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Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is helping small business owners simplify several provisions of the healthcare reform legislation passed in 2010 by offering access to a tool that estimates potential financial impact. The tax credit content and calculator, called H&R Block®'s Small Business Tax Calculator, is available today and provides a simple way to determine eligibility for tax credits.

"About 73 percent of the small businesses in Rhode Island offer healthcare coverage to full-time employees, and these tax credits may help offset a portion of their healthcare spending," said Monica Neronha, vice president, Legal Services. "We hope that any small business that may be eligible for these tax credits will utilize the tax calculator as a guide for determining what is best for their business."

The calculator takes the employer through three steps that include a short series of questions to identify specifics related to the business, including number of employees, wages and annual premiums. The fourth step reveals an assessment on whether or not the business will be penalized for not providing health insurance, the estimated tax credit and the net cost for providing insurance. The details of this estimator help businesses understand the following elements of reform as they become effective:

  • Calculation of the small business premium credit for qualified employers with 25 or fewer employees and average wages under $50,000 (2010)
  • Requirements to provide coverage for full-time employees who work for businesses with 50 or more employees (2014)
  • Penalties for not providing coverage when at least one full-time employee is enrolled in an individual subsidized healthcare plan (2014)
  • The excise tax on high-cost health plans, which applies to plans that cost more than $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family (2018)

In addition to the tax calculator, employers have access to a health information center at www.BCBSRI.com/together. This new resource provides information about the BCBSRI product suite, guidance on understanding and implementing the new healthcare reform laws, tips for speaking to employees about their healthcare plan, and ways in which BCBSRI is confronting healthcare costs and what changes we are making to improve quality of care while moderating costs across the state.

Ms. Neronha also will be speaking with small employers about how to take advantage of the tax credit at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce on March 8 from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. The meeting is free and open to the business community.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state's leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.bcbsri.com and follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.

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About H&R Block

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