HARRISBURG - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obama Care," will not affect many PLNA members. Due to be implemented next January 1, 2014, the law exempts businesses of 50 fulltime equivalent (FTE) employees or less from the requirement to provide health insurance to employees or face penalties. Seasonal employees (working less than 120 days) are not counted in determining the total FTE employees.
Moreover, employers with 25 or fewer FTE employees may be eligible for tax credits of up to 50% of the cost of premiums they pay for employee health insurance.
For employers with more than 50 FTE employees, the situation gets a bit more complicated. If such a company provides health insurance that is deemed affordable to its employees, there are no penalties. Affordability is determined by both the amount of premium the employee pays toward their policy and the amount of coverage provided by the policy. If an employer provides no health insurance or provides coverage which is deemed unaffordable, then penalties are levied.
An article outlining the ways to calculate fulltime equivalent employees, health insurance affordability and the potential penalties can downloaded by clicking here. PLNA thanks Danny Summers of the Southern Nursery Assocation, Matthew Chappell, Ph. D., University of Georgia Horticulture Department and Jim Owen, Ph.D., Virginia Tech Horticultural Department for providing this article and their permission to make it available to PLNA members.