Read these pending healthcare reform changes from one of our ministry healthcare experts, and friend, Rod Wiltrout.
California is leading the nation when it comes to implementing Healthcare Reform. The website atwww.coveredca.com is counting down the minutes to implementation.
Churches can qualify for the Small Business Tax Credit NOW. Since churches are tax exempt, you can receive a return of up to 35% of your premium. In 2014, the amount will increase up to 50%, but your church will qualify only if coverage is purchased through the Small Business Health Options Program (the Exchange!). The unique feature for churches is that housing allowance is taken out of the calculation. Let us know and we can walk you through it.*
While the future of healthcare premiums is still cloudy, churches should be budgeting for a 20-30% increase for their 2014 renewal. Proportionally, your younger employees will probably be seeing the greatest increase. To help mitigate that increase, you may want to take advantage of the premium subsidies only available through the exchange.*
The Covered California website is already providing premium estimates INCLUDING subsidies based on your employee’s age & salary.*
Coverage through the exchange in California will be categorized into 4 different metals: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze (we were hoping for 3 levels…gold, frankincense, and myrrh.)
W2 Reporting of the health insurance premium starts this year only for churches with 250 or more full & part time employees. It’s coming for churches with less than 250, in the years to come.
You are required to provide a Uniform Summary of Benefits to your employees (this started last September). The Department of Labor enforces a penalty of $1,000 per employee if you don’t comply.*
The Religious Employer Exemption (REE) should ensure that you won’t be compromising your ministry’s biblical convictions regarding women’s preventative care services including contraceptives & abortive services. We will be working with churches to complete the REE Certification Form, which needs to be completed before your renewal.*
You are required to notify your employees of the availability of the exchange (and the tax subsidies) this year. We’ll be providing you with these notices (it’s the agent’s & church’s responsibility, not the insurance company’s).*
Churches with less than 50 employees aren’t required to provide health insurance, but you will still be seeing the 20-30% rate increases and will want to consider providing health insurance options through the exchange.*