SOURCE: HealthPass

December 03, 2010 10:54 ET

HealthPass Launches Online Information on Small Employer Health Care Tax Credit

Encourages Eligible Businesses to Apply for Credit

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 3, 2010) - HealthPass, the New York City-based non-profit commercial health insurance exchange for small employers, today announced that it has posted on its website information on the just-released Internal Revenue Service final guidance on the small business health care tax credits.

The new guidance includes information clarifying that a broad range of employers meet the eligibility requirements, including small businesses that provide coverage through a broad range of contribution arrangements, including a choice model similar to the one HealthPass offers. Also included are a one-page form and instructions that small employers -- those with 25 or fewer full-time employees -- can use to claim the tax credit for 2010.

The small business health care tax credit, which was created under the Affordable Care Act, is designed to encourage small businesses to offer health insurance coverage to their workers. Small employers are eligible to claim the health care tax credit beginning with the 2010 tax year.

"This is great news for small employers as well as their benefit brokers, who have been waiting for these rules since the health care reform law was passed back in March," said Vince Ashton, executive director of HealthPass. "The guidance removes some uncertainty that had surrounded the tax credit and provides much greater clarity around the requirements for small businesses to qualify for the credit. The timing is also welcome since many small employers will begin planning for the tax season in the very near future if they haven't already done so."

Small employers and brokers can visit the HealthPass website and download the toolkit, which includes the one-page tax form (Form 8941, Credit for Small employer Health Insurance Premiums), and also the instructions for completing the form. Also available are frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the tax credit as well as a summary document with employer action items. The information can be found in the health reform section of the website at www.healthpass.com/health-reform.html.

"Having choices of benefit design and health insurance carriers, as HealthPass offers, coupled with these tax credits can be a powerful advantage for small businesses. We are pleased to make this important information available to small employers. As health care costs continue to increase, we encourage every small business eligible to claim this credit to apply as it is worth up to 35% of the employer's cost of providing coverage to their employees," said Shawn Nowicki, director of health policy at HealthPass.

About HealthPass
An innovative partnership between Northeast Business Group on Health, the City of New York, and the health insurance industry, HealthPass provides small businesses and sole proprietors with an array of Fortune 500-quality healthcare options through a commercial health insurance exchange.

HealthPass enables eligible employees of small businesses and sole proprietors to choose a healthcare plan that fits their medical needs and budgets. More than 20 different coverage options from four leading carriers -- EmblemHealth, GHI, HIP (Health Plan of New York) and Oxford -- as well as two dental plans, and a bundled product offered through Guardian are available. With more than 200,000 providers, HealthPass affords greater network access than any single plan. For more information, please visit www.healthpass.com.

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