Tennesseee Health Care Campaign (THCC)

Working for guaranteed affordable choices

Archive for the ‘TN Small Business Coalition’ Category

The Tennessee Small Business Coalition is a diverse, non-partisan coalition that was formed to give a voice to small business owners who are struggling to secure and keep affordable and quality health care coverage for themselves and their employees. Our growing network includes small business owners and self-employed people from across Tennessee.

Small Businesses Benefit Now

Posted by Susan McKay on July 1, 2010

The new health care law provides  benefits to small businesses … starting now!

2010

  • New tax credits for small employers contributing at least 50% of the total premium:
* Full 35% credit of an employer contribution will be available to small businesses with fewer than 10
employees averaging less than $25,000 annual wages.
* Sliding-scale up to 35% if fewer than 25 employees and average annual wages of less than $50,000
  • Insurers will no longer be able to drop coverage if you or an employee gets sick
  • No lifetime caps on benefits

2011

  • Grant money awarded to small businesses that establish employee wellness programs
  • Long‐term care insurance program to be financed by voluntary payroll deductions to provide benefits to adults who become functionally disabled.

2014

  • Tax credit will increase up to 50% of the employer premium contribution for previous 2 years
  • Small business owners with fewer than 100 employees can shop for and compare plans through the newonline marketplace called the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchange
  • Exchange benefits include:

• Pool risk with other small businesses, gives same competitive advantage as large businesses, lowering
costs and freeing up revenue to hire additional employees or give raises
• More choices of health plans through the Exchange; compare plans–apples to apples
• Employers select plan(s) (bronze, silver, gold, platinum)to offer, and let employees pick the plan that
works best for them

  • Employer Insurance Coverage Requirements:

o 50 or fewer employees: Exempt from employer requirements to provide insurance
o 51 or more employees: Don’t offer coverage, and 1 or more full-time employees receive premium
credit, employer assessed $2,000/full-time employee, excluding the first 30 employee.
o 51 or more employee: Offer coverage, but 1 or more full-time employees receive a premium credit,
employer pays the lesser of $3,000 for each employee receiving a premium credit or $2,000 for
each full-time employee

  • Insurers banned from discriminating against health status (pre-existing conditions), so costs won’t skyrocket
  • if an employee gets sick
  • Clear language required on insurance forms to make it easier to understand what benefits and doctors
  • are covered through a given plan
  • Annual limits on coverage prohibited
  • Deductibles limited to $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families in small group market

IRS and Small Business Tax Credits @ http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220839,00.html
Council for Nonprofits @ http://www.councilofnonprofits.org/public-policy/federal-policy-issues/health-care-reform/small-employer-credit
Small Business Majority’s Small Business Calculator @ http://smallbusinessmajority.org/tax-credit-calculator/

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New High-risk Pool Begins in TN

Posted by Susan McKay on July 1, 2010

THCC reminds Tennesseans about existing high-risk pool, Access TN & Urge consumers to compare both options

Nashville, TN (Jun 30, 2010)—  Uninsured Tennesseans with pre-existing medical conditions will soon have another choice for obtaining health care coverage.

The new high-risk pool provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect July 1. The Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is a new choice of quality coverage for Tennesseans who have been without health coverage for at least six months and who have been denied coverage because of pre-existing health conditions. PCIP is a new option and not a replacement for the state’s existing high-risk pool called Access TN, http://www.covertn.gov .

“I am glad that Tennesseans will have another choice. It is important that uninsured people with existing medical conditions check out the advantages of both pools before they decide,” said Tony Garr, executive director of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign.

Consumer health care advocacy group, the Tennessee Health Care Campaign (THCC), believes the new federal pool will mostly help those in higher income brackets, but will not help the most of the 1.3 million* Tennesseans with pre-existing conditions because the premiums are simply too high.  THCC is urging individuals deemed as “uninsurable” to take a look at both high-risk pools and see which one is their best option.

For Tennesseans with incomes below $64,000 for a family of three or $75,000 for a family of four, Access TN may be the best choice because premium discounts of 20, 40 and 60 percent are available. In addition, the waiting period is only three months as compared to six months for the new federal pre-existing condition insurance plan.

New Health Reform Website

Starting July 1, find the new coverage available in Tennessee and information about the complete range of health coverage options available for consumers by ZIP code @ http://www.healthcare.gov .

*Health Reform: A Closer Look – Help for Tennesseans with Pre-existing Conditions @ http://www.familiesusa.org/assets/pdfs/health-reform/pre-existing-conditions/tennessee.pdf

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