Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lesser-Known Aspects of Health Care Reform

With a law spanning thousands of pages, it is no surprise there are components to health care reform receiving little attention. Here are a few:

* Small businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees may be eligible for tax credits to purchase health insurance for their employees if the employer's workers have average wages of less than $50,000.

* Beginning January 1, 2011, nonprescription drugs cannot be reimbursed tax-free through a health savings account (HSA) for flexible spending account (FSA).

* Employers must provide an unpaid breastfeeding break for nursing mothers. Employers with 50 or more employees must provide a nursing location other than a bathroom that is shielded from view and free from intrusion by co-workers and the public.

* Employers will be able to offer employees rewards of up to 30% of the value of coverage for participating in wellness programs and meeting certain health-related standards, but this provision will not become effective until 2014.

* Effective January 1, 2011, employers must report the value of employer-provided health coverage on each employee's W-2 form.

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