As you know, the primary purpose of the Affordable Care Act (also called the Healthcare Act) was to expand access to affordable health coverage and to make sure that all Americans have at least minimum level health coverage. Central to this is the creation of new Insurance Exchanges, which are being referred to as the Health Insurance Marketplace (or the Marketplace). The Marketplace is intended to provide a competitive private health insurance market where individuals and employees of small businesses can shop for affordable coverage. Every state will have a Marketplace – some will be run by the state, others by the Federal government or a combination of the two. They are currently being set up and are supposed to be up and running by 10/1/13.
Open enrollment for health insurance coverage through the Marketplace begins 10/1/13 for coverage beginning 1/1/14. Individuals who don’t have insurance coverage after 2013 may be subject to a penalty.
On July 11, 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 90 and Assembly Bill 93, which scales back the enterprise zone program of hiring tax credits that had provided employers in locally designated areas large tax breaks for years. Now, sales tax exemptions will be available for manufacturing and biotech research companies and other tax credits negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the administration.
Upon signing of these bills, the TEA (Targeted Employment Area) has been eliminated. What this means for Siskiyou County employers is that it will be much more difficult to get new hires vouchered for Enterprise Zone Tax credits. In addition, effective December 31, 2013, the program will effectively cease and be replaced by a much more defined program.
What this means for local businesses: all employees hired prior to July 9th need to be vouchered before December 31, 2013. For employees hired after July 8th you need to qualify new hires under the other Eligibility Categories BEFORE they are hired. Employees hired in 2013 will continue generating credit for their first 60 months of employment. Taxpayers will still be eligible for a 10-year carryover period to use these credits.