If you're wondering about the small employer group health care tax credit, we've got some answers. Recently our state's health insurance exchange marketplace known as Cover Oregon updated us on how small businesses can apply for a tax credit that will help offset the cost of providing a health plan for their employees.
Applying for a small business tax credit
Originally, the small employer group health care tax credit was for employers who purchased their group health plan through the Small Business Health Options Program, also known as SHOP. Since SHOP isn't available on the state or Federal insurance exchange marketplaces, Cover Oregon created a new process for small businesses to apply for tax credits.
Just follow these steps to see if you qualify and apply:
- Be sure your group qualifies. Businesses that have less than 25 employees, pay average annual wages at or below $50,000, contribute at least 50% of the "employee only" premiums and enroll in a Cover Oregon-certified health plan are eligibile.
- Complete a Renewal Form (for both new and renewing employer group) and fax the form to Rhodes-Warden Insurance at (541) 259-4714 or by email to lifeandhealth [at] rhodeswardenins [dot] com. Our office will then forward the form to your insurance carrier.
- Apply for the tax credit. After Cover Oregon hears from your insurance carrier and confirms your group's eligibility, they will mail an Eligibility Notice to you, Rhodes-Warden Insurance and your insurance carrier. You can then provide the Eligibility Notice to your tax preparer and apply for the small business tax credit.
To help you out, we've attached a few documents:
- Cover Oregon health insurance renewal form (PDF). This is the most current form that should be returned to Rhodes-Warden Insurance.
- Cover Oregon-certified qualified medical plans (PDF) Use this information to complete the "Plan ID" on the renewal form. Remember, in order to be eligible for the small business health care tax credit, your group must be enrolled in a 2014 qualified health plan from this list. Contact our Life & Health Department at Rhodes-Warden Insurance (541) 258-2131 for more information on this.
- Small group scenarios (PDF). This is Cover Oregon's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.
- Small business tax credit eligibility (PDF). This flyer provides a high-level process overview for a small group employer.
While every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information as of the publication date, the information provided is subject to change. Federal and state rules and interpretations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue to evolve, and every individual’s or employer’s circumstances are unique. Please consult with your own legal and tax advisors for advice.