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There are premium healthcare subsidies and there are cost-sharing subsidies, but what is the difference and who can take advantage of them? Kevin Cassidy, Senior Vice President for Markets at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, lays out the eligibility rules that affect individuals and businesses and describes how they influence plan selection.

Have you ever been tempted to offer your employees money to purchase healthcare on their own? Rich Fahn, owner of Excell Benefit Group, explains that due to IRS restrictions on health reimbursement arrangements and new Affordable Care Act compliance laws you should tread lightly. He strongly recommends consulting your accountants and lawyers to make sure you are on track.

Once you are certain that the right doctors are covered by the health insurance plan you have chosen for your small business, it’s time to think about quality. Blue Cross Blue Shield Senior Vice President for Markets Kevin Cassidy describes a positive shift in the amount of information that is readily available to healthcare consumers and how it affects decision-making.

Since employers are not permitted to solicit medical information from their workers, what is the best way to ensure that everyone’s current doctors are kept in-network? Excell Benefit Group Owner Rich Fahn recommends ways to communicate your intentions clearly to employees and ensure they have the resources they need to help you determine the best coverage options to keep everyone at your company as happy and healthy as possible.

Healthcare inflation is continuing to outpace the consumer price index. In light of this, should small business owners stick with their current insurance plans this year or move forward with one that is compliant with the Affordable Care Act? Kevin Cassidy, Senior Vice President for Markets at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, indicates some shifting costs you can expect in 2014 and emphasizes that there are never any absolutes.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Senior Vice President for Markets Kevin Cassidy offers three considerations for small business owners who want to choose the best possible health insurance plan for themselves and their employees. Once employers understand the premium cost they can afford, what kind of coverage they want and which doctors and hospitals they want to access, making a decision will be that much easier.

The employer health insurance tax credit is available today, so why is enrollment so low? Kevin Cassidy, Senior Vice President for Markets at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, sheds light on the more complicated aspects of the SHOP exchange in which small business owners must participate to qualify. While often the SHOP, or Small Business Health Options Program, is a simpler option for businesses, it does not allow them to offer employees multiple plans.

What is the first step in creating your own health insurance decision tree? Excell Benefit Group Owner Rich Fahn believes business owners must understand their company culture and belief systems. If employers are committed to insuring their workers, the next step is to make sure cost and Affordable Care Act compliance issues are addressed.

The only way to qualify for an employer tax credit is through the SHOP exchange, or Small Business Health Options Program. What if small business owners want to look outside the SHOP? Excell Benefit Group Owner Rich Fahn accounts for each of the participating insurers to help you decide.

A good broker can mean the difference between a simple and painstaking Affordable Care Act transition for small business owners. Rich Fahn, owner of Excell Benefit Group, encourages employers to seek help answering their compliance questions.

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