The health of healthcare

NYS will have the option to define small businesses either as one to 50 employees or one to 100 full-time employees.

In 2016, all businesses having 100 or more full-time employees can buy insurance through the SHOP Exchange.

Businesses having 50 or less full-time employees will be exempt from penalties; those with 51 or more full-time workers, excluding the first 30, will face fines of $2000 per employees if no healthcare insurance coverage is offered for those averaging 30 or more hours per week as of 2014.

A user fee of 3.5% will be added to premiums, through the exchange, for administrative costs.

A non-deductible 40% excise tax will be imposed to employers who offer high value or premium health benefit plans that cost more than $10,200 for single or $27,500 for family.

Individuals pay 2.9% Medicare tax on their wages will have another 3.8% added on investment income, including profits from home sales, for individuals making more than $200,000 or married couples above $250,000. An added Medicare payroll tax of 0.9% on wage income above these same thresholds, starting this January.

Health insurers will be paying an annual fee to offset a portion of the cost to the insurance plan premium subsidies and tax credits starting in 2014.

Exchanges need to be financially self-sustaining by January 1, 2015.

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