How reform affects you

What you need to know about how your family will benefit, what you'll really pay, whether you'll get better or worse care, and what could go wrong from here.

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Small-business owners
Small-business owners
Ages: 42, 47
Income: $130,000
Work status: Business has six employees
Insurance: Individual policy
What's changing:

Within a year:
  • They'll qualify for a temporary incentive for small-biz owners to provide health coverage to their employees because the average wages of their staff are less than $50,000 and they have fewer than 25 full-time workers.
  • They'll be entitled to a tax credit for their company worth up to 35% of the cost of premiums for the plan.
  • They must pick up at least half of the tab for their employees' coverage to get the credit.
By 2014:
  • The couple can buy coverage for their staff on a state exchange.
  • If they do, the company will qualify for a tax credit worth up to 50% of the premiums.
  • They won't be fined if they don't provide coverage because their business has fewer than 50 employees.
  • If they decide not to offer health benefits, they won't be eligible for a subsidy on their individual policy because of their high income. They'll likely pay 5% to 10% more than they do today.
The bottom line: If these owners decide to buy a small group plan on their state exchange, they'll pay less than they would for such coverage today because they'll qualify for subsidies.

NEXT: A well-off couple with benefits
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Last updated April 21 2010: 5:35 PM ET
Source: Milliman
Premium rise assumes no increase in benefits; moderately regulated state
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