Posted: July 18, 2014 10:20
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that every State have a health insurance exchange (also called a “Marketplace”) in operation in 2014. A State may operate a Marketplace for individual consumers, small businesses or both. The Mississippi Insurance Department has decided to establish and operate a Health Insurance Marketplace for small businesses called One, Mississippi™. The Marketplace is an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand online tool that assists Mississippi’s small business owners interested in providing quality health insurance to their employees.
One, Mississippi is a one-stop shop where businesses with 2 to 50 full-time equivalent employees may choose from multiple, affordable health insurance options. An employer chooses one of four tiers and the employee chooses a plan in that tier. Employers also designate a contribution percentage toward the employee’s premium cost. Employees can use that contribution toward a health insurance plan that best fits their needs and budgets within the employer-selected tier.
Employers that meet certain qualifications may be eligible for a Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credit. The amount of the tax credit and what qualifications the employer must meet depend on which taxable year a small employer claims the credit. Some of the qualifications remain the same regardless of when the tax credit is claimed.
The eligibility requirements that small employers must meet are:
· Employ no more than twenty-five (25) full-time equivalent employees;
· Pay average annual wages below $50,000; and
· Pay a uniform percentage for all employees that is equal to at least fifty percent (50% of the premium cost of the individual health insurance for each employee.
One, Mississippi first opened for enrollment in May 2014 and after a short amount of time the Marketplace has already helped many small business owners in Mississippi acquire health coverage for their employees. Employers can enroll in the Marketplace online at www.onemississippi.com or through a licensed and certified insurance agent or broker. For more information, please call 1-855-9MS-SHOP or 1-855-967-7467.