Yesterday, we launched Voices of Health Reform to feature stories of Americans who are benefitting from the Affordable Care Act.
In the latest installment, we’re highlighting the story of Betsy Burton, of Salt Lake City, Utah. Betsy started the King's English book store 33 years ago in Salt Lake City and pays the full cost of health benefits for many of her employees, even as premium costs rise.
Betsy is one of millions of Americans who will benefit from the tax credits included in the new law that will make it easier for small business to provide coverage to their workers.
Today, small businesses pay 18 percent more for health insurance premiums than large businesses. The Affordable Care Act changes that by providing tax credits for small businesses that offer employees health insurance. Up to 4 million small businesses could be eligible for relief from high health insurance premiums and, according to the independent Congressional Budget Office, the tax credit will save small businesses $40 billion by 2019. And small business owners like Betsy are benefiting from the tax credit today.
The tax credits are just one of the ways the health reform law will help small businesses. The law will also help level the playing field with large employers by allowing small businesses to band together to get a fairer deal from insurance companies through the creation of competitive private health insurance markets called Exchanges that go into effect in 2014. Exchanges help organize the health insurance marketplace to help consumers and small businesses shop for coverage in a way that permits easy comparison of available plan options based on price, benefits and services, and quality. Pooling people together can help bring costs down and Exchanges will make our health care system more transparent and competitive by making it easier for consumers to compare costs and benefits.
Betsy feels very strongly about providing insurance to her employees and is thrilled that the new tax credits for small business owners will make it easier for her to give them the benefits they have earned and deserve.
Listen to her story:
Stephanie Cutter is Assistant to the President for Special Projects.