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  • Self-employed who are ineligible for Affordable Care Act worry about costs (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
    February 05 2016 By Steve Twedt George Banyas is self employed having run a successful optometry business in Richland for the past 15 years He and his wife have two children both in their early 20s and attending college While his business has afforded his family a stable living it also has left him ineligible for a health insurance subsidy under the Affordable Care Act And Mr Banyas is increasingly worried about the rising cost of insuring his family of four The Affordable Care Act he said is looking increasingly unaffordable for him For the estimated 10 million self employed Americans health insurance post ACA has provided a wider array of health plan choices At the same time it has sometimes created hefty financial and administrative headaches for the sole proprietor Six years in a top official for a national group representing the self employed said many professionals find themselves snagged by either higher premiums less coverage or both but also ineligible for subsidy relief capped at 400 percent of the federal poverty level or 97 000 for a family of four It s very common and a huge frustration for the self employed who came to the Affordable Care Act kind of optimistic about what they were going to get said Katie Vlietstra vice president for public affairs and government relations at the Washington D C based National Association for the Self Employed There have been benefits with the ACA she said but there is also vast room for improvement such as the ability to customize plans and to purchase plans across state lines Before the ACA was enacted Mr Banyas said his monthly insurance premium with Highmark was 625 with a yearly out of pocket maximum cost of 5 000 so the most I could spend was around 12 000 per year under the worst case scenario Once the federal act went into effect his monthly premiums for a similar Highmark plan jumped to 1 100 Between the ACA mandated yearly maximum family cost of 13 700 and the 13 200 he pays in premiums he faces a possible one year outlay of 26 900 if someone in the family falls ill or is seriously injured You re looking at a quarter of your income just gone It s insane said the Cranberry resident who opted for another insurer this year He declined to identify his new insurer The self employed as a rule are better off under the act because they have instant access to insurance that they didn t have before said health benefits specialist James McTiernan of Arthur J Gallagher Co Downtown What has changed is just the benefit structure We re all used to having a higher benefit level Mr Banyas 55 said he does not oppose the Affordable Care Act which he has seen help some of his patients In his own situation It s still at a point where it s just manageable he acknowledged But if they can take my rate

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/media-relations/News/nase-in-the-news/2016/02/05/self-employed-who-are-ineligible-for-affordable-care-act-worry-about-costs-%28pittsburgh-post-gazette%29 (2016-02-14)
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  • Current Legislation Regarding Small Business Healthcare Premium Reimbursement (Zane Benefits)
    podcasts Our RSS feed service allows you to retrieve instant updates from the NASE website The latest articles news and other helpful information all delivered directly to you Click here to see all of our available RSS feeds View all NASE news Current Legislation Regarding Small Business Healthcare Premium Reimbursement Zane Benefits Wednesday December 23 2015 Employee retention is perhaps one of the biggest challenges many businesses face today and often keeping your best employees is about more than just paying them well Many people are also looking to their employers for affordable healthcare coverage but for small business owners the cost of offering group health insurance can be crippling Rather than risk losing your employees to competitors who offer benefits many companies allow employees to go out and shop for individual insurance plans then provide reimbursement to help cover the monthly premiums and other health care costs DOL Restructures Health Benefit Landscape In September 2013 the Departments of Labor Treasury and Human and Health Services issued guidance to existing annual limit requirements as they pertain to stand alone health reimbursement arrangements HRAs The rule as many interpreted it said that if you were a small business that did not offer a group health insurance plan which is not required under Obamacare for businesses with fewer than 50 employees but tried to reimburse employees for their individual plans without satisfying Market Reforms you could be fined up to 100 per day per employee for up to 36 500 a year Small Business Healthcare Relief Act Groups like the National Federation of Independent Business the National Association for the Self Employed and Zane Benefits have been working with Congress to pass a bipartisan fix to eliminate excessive penalties The current legislation entitled the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act SBHRA was introduced in the House by Representatives Charles Boustany R LA and Mike Thompson D CA and in the Senate by Sen Charles Grassley R IA and Heidi Heitkamp D ND It has 10 additional co sponsors in the Senate and 67 in the House and in both legislative branches the bill is currently in committees awaiting review The Fix While small businesses wait for Congress to reinstate the HRA there are additional options to help employers continue to provide benefits in the most cost effective way without incurring penalties A Healthcare Reimbursement Plan HRP is specifically designed to reimburse for health insurance premiums and basic preventive services while satisfying the market reforms It falls under Internal Revenue Code 105 and provides tax advantages to help alleviate some of the costs of individual health plans It s not traditional health insurance but instead is a way for employers to make an allowance available to employees then reimburse employees for their eligible expenses related to healthcare The employer does not disburse any funds until employees incur approved expenses Using this Section 105 plan also ensures your company is in compliance with IRS ERISA and Affordable Care Act requirements Conclusion Small businesses know that

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/media-relations/News/nase-in-the-news/2015/12/23/current-legislation-regarding-small-business-healthcare-premium-reimbursement-%28zane-benefits%29 (2016-02-14)
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  • Area Small Business Saturday Supporters Ramp Up To Get Share of Holiday Shoppers (The Cleveland Plain Dealer)
    was growing that business I realized it s hard to compete with larger companies I just had the urge to ask consumers their thoughts In less than a year he launched The Keep it Local Cleveland Project a membership based group aimed at promoting and growing small businesses of all kinds in Cleveland through events and social media On Saturday his organization will be one of hundreds nationwide working to remind consumers to think about supporting Small Business in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales Small Business Saturday was created by American Express six years ago in response to small business owners most pressing need getting more customers during the busy holiday shopping season Small Business Saturday is dedicated to supporting local businesses that help create jobs boost the economy and preserve the vibrancy of neighborhoods around the country Last year 88 million consumers shopped small on Small Business Saturday up 14 9 percent from the previous year In addition U S consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday spent 14 3 billion at local and independent businesses on the day in 2014 according to American Express Here s some of the events scheduled in Cleveland for Saturday The Historic Gateway District Neighborhood Corp is celebrating Winterfest and Small Business Saturday with a pop up event at the 5 th Street Arcade Keep It Local Cleveland expects 50 vendors at its first Winter Market at the Arcade Hyatt Regency on 4 th and Euclid Shaker Heights Chamber of Commerce is asking people to share selfies of yourself shopping at one of the many participating shops in Shaker Square After the Mayor s Small Business Saturday proclamation the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce is hosting a holiday Buy Local auction ending on Small Business Saturday The Copley Circle Advisory Board is hosting a Jump on the Trolley Shop Hop to encourage people to shop among the small businesses on Cleveland Massillon Road With the promotion of visiting participating shops on the Copley Passport such as the River City Gift Shoppe shoppers can win a gift basket The National Association for the Self Employed also encourages consumers across the country to identify and connect with small business in their local communities by using the NASE Small Business Locator NASE is reminding consumers that 63 percent of private sector jobs were created by small businesses The millions of small businesses across our country continue to be the backbone of America s economy Keith Hall president and CEO of NASE said in a written statement Over 23 million self employed and small business owners located in every community and in every sector throughout the United States provide the fuel for our economy The simple fact is that when America s small businesses do well the American economy thrives During Small Business Saturday this week and throughout the year I hope consumers understand the importance of buying American and buying local by supporting our small business community Medical Mutual of Ohio is one company

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/media-relations/News/nase-in-the-news/2015/11/25/area-small-business-saturday-supporters-ramp-up-to-get-share-of-holiday-shoppers-%28the-cleveland-plain-dealer%29 (2016-02-14)
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  • Has DC Health Link Unleashed an Entrepreneurial Spirit in District Residents? (Washington City Paper)
    at the end of March and the plan she found on DC Health Link which cost her 440 per month kicked in the next day For wonks who like the Affordable Care Act Pateriya s story is a feel good tale that lets them present the polarizing law as something more than another costly entitlement If the law can chip away at job lock maybe it can have some appeal for free market types as a way to unleash entrepreneurism and reduce friction in the labor market Detractors don t want Obamacare infringing on their freedom but the law gave Pateriya hers You just have the freedom on both ends to test out Is it a good fit for me Is it a good fit for the company without jumping into another long commitment Pateriya says Six months into working for herself she was hired full time by one of her freelance clients an education startup based in Massachusetts Neither the tiny company nor Pateriya who lives in Glover Park and works remotely would ve been willing to commit to a permanent salaried position before they each had the chance to try working together But skeptics wonder how common stories like this are Katie Vlietstra vice president of the National Association for the Self Employed doubts that a vast number of people were unhappy with their typical corporate nine to five jobs and felt with the exchange that they could jump into self employment Because I think the path to self employment is very different Giving up a reliable paycheck to work for oneself requires a risk taking personality and a willingness and ability to tolerate the lean years It s also incredibly cumbersome to start a business Vlietstra notes throwing a jab at D C s much derided Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs NASE isn t an unbiased observer Vlietstra s organization offers many perks to its paid members including access to group health insurance plans DC Health Link is NASE s competition A spokesman for NASE says the average cost of health insurance premiums obtained through NASE is hard to estimate because it depends on a range of variables But Vlietstra is right The extent to which the Affordable Care Act has eased job lock is unknown In 2013 a senior fellow from the Urban Institute and two Georgetown University professors authored a paper estimating that 3 000 people in D C would become self employed in 2014 as a result of the Affordable Care Act s reforms The estimates relied on benchmarks from previous studies that examined job lock including one that found a bump in self employment among people who become eligible for Medicare But according to Linda Blumberg the co author from the Urban Institute there are no empirical estimates yet of how the Affordable Care Act in particular has affected job lock in D C or nationwide DC Health Link does not collect job information on individual market customers Victoria Lai seems to

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/media-relations/News/nase-in-the-news/2015/10/23/has-dc-health-link-unleashed-an-entrepreneurial-spirit-in-district-residents-%28washington-city-paper%29 (2016-02-14)
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  • Freelancers Make More Money and Are Just Better People (Streetwise)
    U S workers were freelancers according to the results of a new survey commissioned by the contractor matching site Upwork and the Freelancers Union That means that 54 million Americans up by 700 000 workers one year earlier accepted freelance work as part of their full or part time jobs And Upwork expects to see that growth continue People are increasingly building flexible careers on their own terms based on their passions desired lifestyle and access to a much broader pool of opportunities than ever before in history said Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel While we are still relatively early in the rise of the freelance workforce there s no doubt its growth will continue Professionals are not only turning away from traditional employment once they do most have no desire to go back Moreover they may be more politically active The survey assessed that 86 percent of freelancers intend to vote in 2016 impressive in a country where 58 2 percent of the population voted in the the 2012 presidential election The stat while it seems high makes a lot of sense to me said Katie Vlietstra vice president of public affairs and government relations at the National Association for the Self Employed Our members tend to be engaged with policy Freelancers in the survey seemed to be largely satisfied with their situations with 60 percent saying they went freelance by choice and 60 percent of those who left full time jobs to pursue their freelance careers earning more than they did prior to switching Of that group 78 percent said that they eclipsed their previous earnings within a year of going solo Of course it s important to remember that freelancers often need to make more than their full time counterparts in order to get their incomes equal In many situations a contractor s income may eclipse his or her earnings doing comparable work for a large company but the costs of doing business along with health insurance and retirement savings can eat into earnings Many freelancers may not be aware of that Vlietstra said I personally think those individuals running right now have no clue what its takes to run a small business she stated Vlietstra found the new survey results to be consistent with trends that her own organization has observed She also added that the freedoms enjoyed by freelancers can contribute to an overall increase in career and lifestyle satisfactions for many people I think there s an overall likelihood that they have a sunnier outlook on life she asserted Much of that sunnier outlook probably comes from the choices and control highlighted in the new report This study shows that the flexibility and opportunity associated with freelancing is increasingly appealing and that is why we ve seen such dramatic growth in the number of people choosing to freelance said Sara Horowitz the founder and executive director of the Freelancers Union In fact 65 percent of freelancers surveyed cited the flexible scheduling and work locations as

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/media-relations/News/nase-in-the-news/2015/10/20/freelancers-make-more-money-and-are-just-better-people-%28streetwise%29 (2016-02-14)
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  • Q&A with Katie Wonnenberg of the NASE (CQ Roll Call)
    We re still seeing the lack of women at the very top levels of organizations even in congressional offices A graduate of Chapman University in Orange Calif Wonnenberg has more than a decade of government relations and public affairs experience She has developed and implemented public policy strategies and objectives for a wide range of organizations including WorldatWork and the Texas Office of State and Federal Relations What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation How satisfied are you with the level of member engagement in NASE s advocacy efforts Given what has happened in the public policy field that is really relevant to our membership a major change in how our members receive healthcare benefits and an effort towards comprehensive tax reform this snapshot of what happened during my first 3 5 years at NASAE lends itself to having a more engaged membership and being more proactive in engaging our membership There s been so much member engagement but we re kind of in a holding pattern for tax reform So we ve started to see a little less engagement When you re running your business in your community you might not immediately see the benefit of getting involved in politics We have to connect the dots for them Once they dip their toe in the water they get more and more comfortable Then they see their influence and the opportunity to represent their larger community It s important to allow the members to come into their own voices Which strategies campaigns do you think have been most successful with NASE members Why These issues are inherently political They impact someone s business but also have emotional impact as well And we ve found that our members are sometimes at odds internally with themselves about how they feel about certain issues We have to navigate how we take positions and advocate for our members based on these factors When you have a diverse membership you go into things knowing that you can t make everyone happy Our advocacy decisions and policy positions are backed by data and anecdotal information Even if our members aren t entirely thrilled with our position they can understand the methodical way the association came to that decision We also created a council of 12 NASE members who serve as our sounding board and we survey them regularly to understand their views We get a lot of opinions It s valuable to hear from the true self employed It s also interesting that some people aren t comfortable communicating their views publicly Our member council is the go to for addressing media inquiries What advice would you offer your colleagues about increasing member engagement in advocacy First you need a good database and some associations don t have one We try not to bombard our members over and over again We can slice our membership list by state and or zip code We really target certain members of Congress when we pull data by

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/media-relations/News/nase-in-the-news/2015/09/25/q-a-with-katie-wonnenberg-of-the-nase-%28cq-roll-call%29 (2016-02-14)
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  • Self-Employment in the U.S. (C-SPAN)
    NASE Member Survey NASE Issue Reports Self Employed Statistics Get Involved Tell your story Become a Media Contact Legislative Action Center Business Help Ask the Experts Taxes Business Strategy Business Law Marketing 101 Finance Accounting Health Care Reform Marketing Advertising Real Estate Information Technology NASE Minute Get Help Tax Healthcare Reform Health Marketing 101 Business Management Marketing Advertising Real Estate Calculators Business Breakeven Analysis Calculator Cash Flow Calculator Equipment Buy vs Lease Investment Annual Rate of Return Calculator Mortgage Mortgage Loan Calculator Retirement Savings and Planning 401 k Calculator How long will my retirement savings last Tax 1040 Tax Calculator Payroll Deductions Calculator Self Employment Tax Calculator Helpful Links ASBDC Member Directory Search My NASE About Me Account Benefits Optional Benefits Payment Details Expert Questions Email Subscriptions Membership Directory NASE in the News Stay tuned Check out our latest videos television appearances and podcasts Our RSS feed service allows you to retrieve instant updates from the NASE website The latest articles news and other helpful information all delivered directly to you Click here to see all of our available RSS feeds View all NASE news Self Employment in the U S C SPAN Tuesday September 08 2015 NASE s President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Hall sat down with C SPAN to talk about policy issues affecting self employed workers in the U S Comment Your name Click to add Email optional Click to add Comment RadEditor HTML WYSIWYG Editor MS Word like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools dropdowns dialogs system modules and built in spell check RadEditor s components toolbar content area modes and modules Toolbar s wrapper Content area wrapper RadEditor hidden textarea RadEditor s bottom area Design Html and Preview modes Statistics module and resize handle It contains RadEditor s Modes

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/media-relations/News/nase-in-the-news/2015/09/08/self-employment-in-the-u.s.-%28c-span%29 (2016-02-14)
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  • NASE Op-Ed: Ensuring the Healthcare System Works for All
    new healthcare system by keeping the law in tact and establishing a precedent for future debates regarding healthcare in America As the high court was protecting lifesaving financial support for healthcare coverage the Internal Revenue Service was preparing a long awaited attack on an obscure part of the healthcare system Less than one week after the Supreme Court s recent decision the IRS began enforcing a policy imposing a 100 a day fine per employee on small businesses that offer traditional Health Reimbursement Accounts HRAs a devastating blow to the small business community As an unintended consequence of the ACA HRAs were outlawed for the majority of the small business community with 49 or less employees who did not fall under the employer mandate and did not meet the law s Essential Health Benefit requirements This eliminated the use of this traditional often utilized healthcare tool for millions of small businesses including the self employed and micro businesses Creating an unequal healthcare system only small businesses with 50 or more employees that met that ACA s rules could continue to also offer HRAs There was an immediate outcry by millions of small businesses across the country arguing that this discriminatory policy directly targeted the heart and soul of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship The new IRS policy which took effect July 1 strikes at the core of the original intent of our nation s new law a law designed to expand healthcare options and opportunities for all Americans not eliminate and limit vital healthcare resources for an essential segment of the American population HRAs have historically been a very powerful and effective tool for the small business community to do right by their employees by helping them pay for crucial healthcare needs Under these arrangements small employers who did not offer a group plan could offer some form of financial assistance to their employees for qualified healthcare expenses such as co pays prescription drugs and deductibles Part time and seasonal employees have often relied on HRAs for vital healthcare support Furthermore HRAs are a fair and impartial you must offer the same amount to each employee who has an HRA account This could not be anymore critical for the millions of sole proprietors and small business owners that fall outside the employer mandate Despite being a part of the largest small business sector they are treated as individuals and must obtain coverage on the individual exchange Without the threshold of 50 employees to be considered for the small business exchange they do not meet all of the law s requirements For instance the baker or the graphic designer who cannot afford a full group plan but still want to help their employees with some financial assistance for healthcare needs with HRAs could now face the threat of IRS penalties that some estimate could cost small business owners over 30 000 per year That s why in February of this year when the Treasury Department announced a delay in the enforcement of

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/media-relations/News/nase-in-the-news/2015/08/12/nase-op-ed-ensuring-the-healthcare-system-works-for-all (2016-02-14)
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