Posts Tagged ‘health insurance for nannies’

What You Need to Know About The Affordable Care Act

What is the Affordable Care Act?The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as the “Affordable Care Act” or “Obamacare,” is a federal law aimed at reducing the overall cost of health care and decreasing the number of uninsured individuals living in the United States.

 

Is my employee required to have health insurance?Yes, your nanny – like all Americans – is subject to penalties if she does not have health insurance coverage. However, you are not responsible for making sure your employee has health insurance.

 

Am I required to offer health insurance to my employee(s)?No, employers are not required to offer health insurance if they employ fewer than 50 workers. However, you are required to provide your nanny at the time of hire, and any future employee with a notice about the Health Insurance Marketplace.

 

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?The Health Insurance Marketplace is the government-run health insurance exchange – a “one-stop shop” where individuals can compare and purchase health insurance policies. Open enrollment for the Marketplace opens on November 15th for coverage beginning January 1, 2015. Your employee will be able to purchase health insurance through the Marketplace until open enrollment ends on February 15, 2015.

 

How much will health insurance cost?The cost of health insurance will vary depending on the state and the options your employee chooses (deductible, co-pay, etc.). After completing an application, your employee will be able to compare prices and coverage options for different health insurance policies. Depending on her income and family size, she may be eligible for a subsidy if she purchases her insurance policy through the Marketplace. However, she must have documented wages in order to get a discounted policy – meaning she must be paid legally. The Kaiser Family Foundation has a helpful Subsidy Calculator to estimate how much she’ll save.

 

If I contribute to my employee’s health insurance policy, will I be eligible for any tax breaks?If you contribute to your nanny’s health insurance premium, the amount of your contribution is considered “non-taxable compensation” – so neither you nor your employee would have any taxes on that portion of the compensation. In addition to the non-taxable advantage, if you set up a health insurance policy for your employee through SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) on the Marketplace and pay at least 50% of your employee’s premiums, you may be able to take advantage of the Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance. To take this credit, you’ll attach Form 8941 to your personal income tax return. The credit is up to 50% of the contribution you pay. For more information regarding the requirements for contributing to health insurance, please contact our office as SHOP is a relatively new program and the details may change.Thank you to Breedlove and Associates for this helpful information on the Affordable Care Act.  If you have any questions please contact them directly at 888-273-3356  Monday through Friday from 8am to 6pm CST.

Affordable Care Act Q & A for Household Employers

Thank you to our friends at Breedlove and Associates for sharing this informative piece on the new laws going into effect October 1st.  TLC for Kids recommends that both nannies and families read about new healthcare rules for employers and employees.

 

Beginning October 1, the first stages of the Affordable Care Act will go live. Americans looking for health insurance will have access to an online health insurance exchange where they can compare policies and ultimately purchase a plan that suits their individual needs. Because this is a new change to the way health insurance is administered, many families are confused or concerned about how the changes will impact them as a household employer.

 

To help these families feel more comfortable moving forward, we’ve created the following Frequently Asked Questions for household employers:

 

What is the Affordable Care Act?

 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act, is a federal statute which was signed into law in 2010. The statute is primarily aimed at reducing the overall cost of health care and decreasing the number of uninsured individuals living in the United States by enacting a number of different mandates, subsidies and tax credits.

 

Am I required to offer health insurance to my employee(s)?

 

No, employers are not required to offer health insurance if they employ fewer than 50 employees. However, you are required to provide your current employee(s) and, at the time of hire, any future employee(s) with notice of the new Health Insurance Marketplace.

 

Is my employee required to have health insurance?

 

Yes, beginning in 2014, your employee may be charged penalties if she does not have health insurance coverage. However, you are not responsible for making sure your employee has health insurance.

 

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?

 

The Health Insurance Marketplace, or The Marketplace, is a “one-stop shop” where individuals can compare and purchase health insurance policies. Open enrollment for The Marketplace begins on October 1, 2013 for coverage beginning January 1, 2014. Your employee(s) will be able to purchase health insurance through The Marketplace until open enrollment ends on March 31, 2014. For more information on The Marketplace, or to complete an online application for health insurance coverage, please visit www.HealthCare.gov.

 

How much will health insurance cost?

 

The cost of health insurance will vary depending on your state and the amount of coverage your employee chooses. After completing an application through The Marketplace, your employee will be able to compare prices and coverage options for   different health insurance policies. Depending on your employee’s income and family size, she may be eligible for the Advance Premium Tax Credit if she purchases insurance through The Marketplace. The credit can be applied directly to her monthly premiums which results in immediate cost savings. If she qualifies for the Advance Premium Tax Credit, her savings will be reflected in the prices displayed on The Marketplace.

 

If I contribute to my employee’s health insurance policy, will I be eligible for any tax breaks?

 

If you set up a health insurance policy for your employee through SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) on the Marketplace and pay at least 50% of your employee’s premiums, you may be able to take advantage of the Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance. To take this credit, you’ll attach Form 8941 to your personal income tax return. Beginning in 2014, the credit will increase to up to 50% of the contribution you pay. For more information regarding the requirements for contributing to health insurance, please contact our office.

 

Health Insurance for Nannies

Health insurance is a big concern for nannies, especially single nannies.   TLC for Kids has found that nannies are looking for health insurance as part of their full time job compensation package.   Offering health insurance to a nanny is possible and a tax free benefit!  Saving both the family and the nanny money!

Here is a blog from Regarding Nannies on the best practices of nanny health insurance.

Q. What does the family need to do regarding documentation to keep the health insurance non-taxable?

A. A family needs to have evidence that the nanny actually HAS health insurance in place, and that the policy cost is equal to or greater than the stipend. The easiest way to do this is for the family to write the check for the stipend directly to the insurance carrier. If that is not possible or desired, the family needs to:

1. Obtain and retain a certificate of coverage that shows the period and amount of the premium. This needs to be up to date, so you may need to do this semi-annually or annually depending on the policy.

2. Either write a separate check for the stipend with the memo clearly stating the purpose (BC/BS POLICY NUMBER July 2013 for example) OR provide a pay stub to the nanny stating gross wages, itemized deductions, net pay, and the addition of the premium contribution to the net pay as a reimbursement item.

Q. What are the tax benefits to the family?

A. The health insurance premium stipend is not taxable wages. The employer does not include this in the employee’s taxable wages on the W-2 form, and does not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes (7.65%) nor Federal or State Unemployment taxes on the premium (~3.5 – 4% depending on the situation).

Q. What are the tax benefits to the nanny?

A.  Because the health insurance premium stipend is not taxable wages, the nanny does not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes (7.65%) nor income taxes (variable, estimate 15% for Federal and state) on the premium stipend.

A. Are there any audit risks involved?

Q. The biggest risk is that the family is paying the stipend and the nanny allows the policy to lapse. Retroactively this would make the premium stipend taxable, and at that point the family would be on the hook for the employer and employee Social Security and Medicare taxes (15.3% total) as well as the unemployment taxes. This is why it is a best practice to make payments directly to the carrier.

A typical health insurance plan for a healthy single nanny can run $500 or more a month. This is $6000 a year. Many families offer a partial premium benefit at time of hire, and will discuss picking up more in lieu of a raise when the compensation is reviewed.

A family who contributes $3000 a year saves approximately $330 in taxes (11% of the benefit!) and the nanny saves approximately $675 in taxes (about a week’s pay!).