Tax credit available for Grays Harbor small businesses
The U.S. Treasury Department announced that small businesses in Washington counties that don’t have the option of purchasing a plan through the Washington Healthplanfinder, will be able to continue getting a tax credit of up to 50 percent to help them buy health coverage for their employees.
“This is welcome news for small businesses in Washington,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Small businesses in every county will now get financial support to help them buy comprehensive insurance for their employees. It is one more step toward fulfilling the full potential of the Affordable Care Act.”
Currently, small businesses in most states are able to significantly reduce the cost of providing health care for their employees through subsidized plans on the federal Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). However, in Washington, that option is only available in Clark and Cowlitz counties.
The small business health care tax credit was set to expire December 31, but an announcement from the Treasury Department to extend through 2014 to businesses that qualify, means that small businesses will receive the tax credit to provide their employees a choice of health plans.
Inslee said. “Now, businesses in every county will get some financial relief to cover their employees. I hope they’ll take advantage of this significant tax break.”
To qualify, a small business must have fewer than 25 full-time employees, pay for at least 50 percent of their employee’s premium, and pay an average wage of $50,000 or less.
Any eligible small employer with an address in counties outside Clark and Cowlitz may qualify for the tax credit by providing non-SHOP insurance in 2014. The Administration continues to work with the state insurance commissioner to bring SHOP plans into these counties for 2015.
“I am hopeful that by 2015 the Washington Health Benefit Exchange will have small business plans available through the Washington Healthplanfinder in every county,” Inslee said. “Until then, I am pleased that this tax credit will be available to support our small businesses and the people they employ.”
Through November, more than 179,000 people enrolled in health insurance through the Washington Healthplanfinder. This tax break extension will make comprehensive, affordable insurance available to even more people in Washington.