International Door & Operator Industry

SEP-OCT 2012

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 73 of 132

ASSOCIATIONNEWS By Andrew Stergiou Changes in Health Care – Timeline In March of 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law. This legislation, commonly referred to as "Health Care Reform" makes sweeping changes in the way health care is delivered in the U.S. It also imposes signifi cant new responsibilities on employers, some of which have already taken effect and others that will roll out over four years and beyond. The most signifi cant changes will take place in 2014. Health insurance premiums have risen rapidly, straining the pocketbooks of American families and businesses for more than a decade. Since 1999, the cost of coverage for a family of four has climbed 131 percent. These increases have forced families and employers to spend more money, often for less cover- age. Prior to the enactment of PPACA, insurance companies have been able to raise premium rates for coverage in the individual and small employer market- place without explaining their actions to regulators or the public or justifying the reasons for their high premiums. In most cases, consumers received little or no information about proposed premium increases, and were not told the reasons driving rate increases. The Affordable Care Act brings an unprecedented level of scrutiny and transparency to health insurance rate increases. The Act ensures that, in any State, large proposed increases will be evaluated by experts to make sure they are based on reasonable cost assumptions and solid evidence. This analysis is expected to help moderate premium hikes and provide those who buy insurance with greater value for their premium dollar. Additionally, insurance companies must provide easy-to- understand information to their customers about their reasons for signifi cant rate increases, as well as publicly justify and post on their website any unreasonable rate increases. The Act also offers valuable tax credits to small businesses who offer health coverage. Under this provision, employers with no more than 25 full-time equivalent employees and annual average wages of less than $50,000 can receive a tax credit for purchasing health insurance for their employees. The number of full-time equivalent employees is determined by dividing the a) the total number of hours for which the employer paid wages to employees during the year (not to exceed 2,080 for any employee) by b) 2,080. In order to be eligible for this credit, the employer must pay at least 50% of the cost of coverage. The tax credits are as follows: • For tax years 2010 through 2013, the credit will be up to 35% of the employer's contribution, with the full credit of 35% available to employers with 10 or less employ- ees and annual wages averaging $25,000 or less. • Beginning in tax year 2014, the credit will be increased to 50% of the employer's contribution. It is important for employers to be aware of the many provisions of the law and to understand if and how their company is affected. In order to help you understand the many requirements we have two Timelines that you can go online and review (see below for info). The fi rst Timeline provides a checklist for those changes that have been slated for 2012. The second comprehensive Timeline provides a summary of all of the mandates and requirements of which employers need to be aware. Continued on page 72 We met Andy through the International Door Association, and boy what an education it has been! Andy illustrated multiple areas in our policies, particularly with our GL, in which we were frighteningly defi cient. He also saved us a ton of money, especially with our workers comp. We have such a peace of mind now knowing that something as important as our insurance is in the hands of someone so industry specifi c. Andy and the rest of his staff make us feel as if we are their only customer. Kandee Cole – Garage Doors Unlimited, Inc. (San Diego, CA) If you want additional information about health insurance, please contact Andrew Stergiou at 212-603-0321 ( Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. is the consulting broker for the IDAssurance Program (Property & Casualty Insurance Program), and is one of the largest and most experienced insurance and surety bond brokerage fi rms in the country. VOLUME 45 ISSUE 5 2012 71

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