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Health Care Reform: Giving Small Businesses a Leg Up

Health Care Reform: Giving Small Businesses a Leg to Stand On

After a long and often contentious debate, health care reform legislation was passed into law March 23, 2010. The passage of this legislation heralds a new era for small business. For years, small companies have paid 18% more than larger companies for the same employee health care coverage, according to the Small Business Administration. This legislation will help level the playing field, and it is hoped, give a boost to the overall economy. Small businesses will now be able to offer affordable health care insurance to their employees because of the following benefits.

Small business tax credits. This credit is available immediately for small nonprofit and for-profit businesses. It can cover up to 35% of premiums that small businesses pay for employees’ health insurance. By 2014, the rate increases to 50% for two years, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says could save small businesses $40 billion over the next decade.

Health insurance exchanges. To alleviate high administrative costs and give small businesses more bargaining power, health insurance exchanges can offer more choices and lower prices to companies with 100 or fewer employees. Starting in 2014, these businesses can purchase insurance through an exchange. According to the CBO, exchanges offer small businesses the leverage to negotiate lower premiums for employee health care, a luxury formerly available only to large firms.

An end to price discrimination beginning in 2014. Health care reform eliminates the practice of charging penalties for individuals with pre-existing conditions. In addition, insurance companies will no longer be able to charge higher premiums to small companies if an employee becomes sick or is faced with an ongoing health condition.

Health care security helps promote entrepreneurship. Assuring affordable coverage for all Americans empowers smaller firms to compete for the best workers. More individuals may also feel free to start businesses knowing the benefits they could offer would rival those of larger companies, thus attracting more talented workers.

Reduced hidden tax on small business health insurance. With insurance coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans by 2019, the hidden cost of treating uninsured individuals will be reduced. Nearly $1,000 for hidden costs will be eliminated from each health care premium, according to a White House fact sheet at www.whitehouse.gov.*

Lower premiums for small businesses. The sum total of the measures outlined here will give small business owners an affordable means to offer health care benefits to employees. According to CBO, health reform will reduce the cost of a given plan in the small group market by 1% to 4% by 2016.

For more information about how health care reform helps small business, visit www.healthcare.gov or www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform/small-business.*

 

* Websites provided for information only. No endorsement is implied.

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Personal Banking Security Measures for the 21st Century

clientuploads/21st-Century-Securitysquare180.pngMany of us are constantly connected to the online world these days. This means that the potential is there for our computers and personal information to be compromised which greatly increases the risk of ID theft and financial fraud to occur. However, by taking some basic precautions you can significantly reduce the risk of your computing environment being compromised. Following these simple guidelines should help your computing environment become more secure:

Keep your computer and software up-to-date

Keep your computers and network equipment secured with the latest software updates and enable automatic updates whenever possible.  This includes updates to third party applications such as Java and Adobe Products.  

Use hard drive encryption

In the event your machine is lost or stolen, drive encryption can prevent others from accessing the data on your hard drive.  The purpose is to encrypt or scramble your data on your machine so that it can only be read with your encryption key.Many operating systems offer drive encryption.  Microsoft offers Bitlocker and Apple has FileVault. There are also other third party encryption offerings.   

Enable your firewall

Think of the firewall to your computer as the fence around your property.  If there were multiple holes cut in the fence, it wouldn’t be very useful at keeping people out.  Firewalls are typically enabled by default on Windows machines, but double check to make sure it’s on.  Here are instructions to do so if you are using Windows 7. Only allow necessary applications inbound access through your firewall. The same principles apply to your network firewall. 

Configure your screensaver

Set an auto-locking screensaver so your account gets locked out after a few minutes.  This is useful if you forget to lock your machine when are away from it. On Windows machines this can usually be done by pressing the “Windows Key” and the “L” button simultaneously.

Make your passwords stronger

The longer and more complex the password, the better.  At least 16 characters with a combination of upper and lowecase letters, numbers, and special characters is a best practice.

Configure your router

Use the strongest wireless security available (currently WPA2-CCMP) with a long and complex password for your wireless network. Disable WPS on your wireless router for greater security.   

 


Think that some secure banking information
of yours has been compromised?

If you suspect that your personal financial information has been compromised, call MutualBank Customer Support at 800-382-8031.


 

Monday, April 7, 2014

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Health Care Reform: Giving Small Businesses a Leg Up

Health Care Reform: Giving Small Businesses a Leg to Stand On

After a long and often contentious debate, health care reform legislation was passed into law March 23, 2010. The passage of this legislation heralds a new era for small business. For years, small companies have paid 18% more than larger companies for the same employee health care coverage, according to the Small Business Administration. This legislation will help level the playing field, and it is hoped, give a boost to the overall economy. Small businesses will now be able to offer affordable health care insurance to their employees because of the following benefits.

Small business tax credits. This credit is available immediately for small nonprofit and for-profit businesses. It can cover up to 35% of premiums that small businesses pay for employees’ health insurance. By 2014, the rate increases to 50% for two years, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says could save small businesses $40 billion over the next decade.

Health insurance exchanges. To alleviate high administrative costs and give small businesses more bargaining power, health insurance exchanges can offer more choices and lower prices to companies with 100 or fewer employees. Starting in 2014, these businesses can purchase insurance through an exchange. According to the CBO, exchanges offer small businesses the leverage to negotiate lower premiums for employee health care, a luxury formerly available only to large firms.

An end to price discrimination beginning in 2014. Health care reform eliminates the practice of charging penalties for individuals with pre-existing conditions. In addition, insurance companies will no longer be able to charge higher premiums to small companies if an employee becomes sick or is faced with an ongoing health condition.

Health care security helps promote entrepreneurship. Assuring affordable coverage for all Americans empowers smaller firms to compete for the best workers. More individuals may also feel free to start businesses knowing the benefits they could offer would rival those of larger companies, thus attracting more talented workers.

Reduced hidden tax on small business health insurance. With insurance coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans by 2019, the hidden cost of treating uninsured individuals will be reduced. Nearly $1,000 for hidden costs will be eliminated from each health care premium, according to a White House fact sheet at www.whitehouse.gov.*

Lower premiums for small businesses. The sum total of the measures outlined here will give small business owners an affordable means to offer health care benefits to employees. According to CBO, health reform will reduce the cost of a given plan in the small group market by 1% to 4% by 2016.

For more information about how health care reform helps small business, visit www.healthcare.gov or www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform/small-business.*

 

* Websites provided for information only. No endorsement is implied.

Contact a Representative Today

Back to Education Resources

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