Posted at 10:10 AM
Created on June 14, 2013
Earlier this month I was invited to give the commencement address for the 2013 graduates of the New York City College of Technology (CUNY). I began my remarks with a true story of how I prepared for my speech by going skydiving. I jumped out of a perfectly good airline at an altitude of 13,500 feet in an attempt to clear my head and gain perspective of the words of wisdom that I wanted to impart. We all laughed when I confessed that as soon as I stood in the doorway of the plane, having heard the instructor yell “GO – GO – GO”, preparing for the commencement address was not my first thought . . . and honestly, not the second or third.
However, when I landed safely and reflected on all of the emotions that I felt at “jump altitude” – my extreme experience not only informed my commencement address but also made me ponder the many interactions I have had over the years with MBDA clients that share their excitement and anxiety about their future direction and growth.
Although the topics have varied, in recent months, the dialogue has centered on the Affordable Care Act and what it means for minority businesses. While many business owners have acknowledged that an improved health care system will make a huge difference in the lives of millions of Americans, there is still uncertainty of how the provisions will impact their business operations.
Here is short list of things you need to know right now about the Affordable Care Act:
If you have fewer than 25 employees and provide health insurance for your employees, you already may qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 35 percent of health expenses to help offset the costs of coverage. In 2014, the credit will increase to 50 percent.
Starting in 2014, small businesses will have access to more affordable private insurance options through the new Health Insurance Marketplace. Small businesses, which can currently pay as much as 18 percent more than their larger competitors for the same coverage, will be able to pool their risk together to access affordable plans.
It is estimated that up to four million small businesses nationwide, representing more than 60 percent of America’s small businesses, will be eligible to benefit from more than $40 billion in tax credits if they choose to provide insurance to their employees.
MBDA understands that a critical component of making sound decisions is having timely access to good information. I encourage you to become familiar with the online resources provided through the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services at HealthCare.gov and the Small Business Administration at SBA.gov/Healthcare - and don’t forget to keep checking back because new resources are being added all the time.