With all the current reminders about looming deadlines for the health insurance marketplace, it’s easy to become uncertain about which dates correspond to you, your family and your business. Here, we are offering a bit of clarity regarding these fast-approaching deadlines and what they will mean to you and your employees if you own a small business.

First, the much-advertised deadline for open enrollment is on March 31, 2014. This deadline, though, correlates individual and/or family coverages purchased through the health insurance marketplace. The next open enrollment period through the health insurance marketplace starts on November 15, 2014 and has a proposed end date of January 15, 2015.

If you own a business and employ no more than 50 people, you can begin offering health insurance coverage to your employees at any time of the year through the Small Business Health Options Program (otherwise referred to as the SHOP Marketplace). You’ll have to select from four levels of coverage and when your employees enroll by the 15th of the month, coverage begins on the first day of the following month. Those with 25 or fewer employees may also qualify for a tax credit totaling up to 50 percent of the cost your premiums.

As of March 5, 2014, there has been a two-year extension to the transition policy for individual and small group health plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s market reforms.  For the latest information about the Affordable Care Act, or to obtain health insurance, contact D&S Insurance Services today!