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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 Social Media Account Security

For many of us, social media has become a part of our everyday lives and helps us conveniently keep tabs on the people and topics we care most about.

Recently however, there has been an increase of social media account take overs by cybercriminals. As stated in the media, one contributing factor in some of the social media account takeovers has been the use of weak passwords.


Tips for creating a stronger password:


  • Passwords should typically:
    • be at least 8 characters in length
    • contain at least 1 number
    • contain at least 1 special character (!@#$$%)
    • contain both upper and lower case characters.
  • Do not use your name, date of birth, maiden name, mother’s maiden name, address, or other easily guessable words for passwords. 
  • Another way to create a strong password is to use a series of words that do not relate to each other. For example, JumpingFastRelaxStop!#.

 


Social media additional security options:


Another way to help avoid social media account takeover is to use the additional security options available. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security that drastically decreases your chances of account takeover. Two-factor authentication is essentially the using of two separate components to verify your identity, the combination of something you HAVE with something you KNOW. A good example of two-factor authentication you most likely are already used to is withdrawing cash from an ATM, for example. Having both your debit card AND knowing a pin number is required to complete the withdrawal and protect your identity.

A popular and convenient two-factor authentication method is using a combination of both an online password and a text message verification sent to your phone. Enabling this type of authentication typically follows this process:

  1. Enter your password into Facebook or another website
  2. Immediately receive a text on your phone with a temporary pass key
  3. Enter the passkey received back on the site/app and you’re logged in

This may seem like overkill, but enabling this two-factor authentication will drastically decrease the chances of your social accounts being hacked. And actually, the process of setting up and using this authentication is pretty simple and convenient.

 


How to enable two-factor authentication:


Many popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and others already support two-factor authentication. To learn more about how to do so on the most popular sites on the web, be sure to check out this article:

http://socialcustomer.com/2014/04/how-to-enable-two-factor-authentication-on-50-top-websites-including-facebook-twitter-and-others.html

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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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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