Health Care Tax Credits Available to Small Business Owners
by Christine Hansen for MDBizMedia
Maryland officials, including Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes, joined today with the Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition to raise awareness for a new federal health care tax credit, part of the Affordable Care Act, that is designed to make health care coverage more affordable for small businesses.
In Maryland, small businesses comprise 95.1 percent of all employers and employ 36.6 percent of the private sector workforce. Small businesses that employ 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, have employees that earn an average of $50,000 or less, and cover at least 50 percent of their employees’ health insurance premiums qualify to receive up to 35 percent of health insurance costs. The tax credit can be applied to the 2010 tax year.
“The Governor and I like to say that small business is big business in Maryland,” Lt. Governor Anthony Brown said. “Small businesses employ a sizeable amount in our State, supporting Maryland’s workforce. We recognize that small businesses struggle, as do families, in providing coverage to their employees. ”
Jamal Lee, owner of Breasia Studios, an audio production company in Laurel, has already benefitted from the tax credit and has been able to hire additional employees as a result.
“I think health care should be a given, especially now while we’re in a tough economy,” Lee said. “I am able to save money on health care and I am getting a break. I am able to keep my prices in order with my clients, and I am able to serve a satisfactory product. I can even bring on another employee. It truly helps the common individual and offers opportunities we wouldn’t usually have—we have to take advantage of it.”
Vincent Demarco, President of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative said the State of Maryland will be fully engaged in making sure that small businesses throughout the State know about these federal tax credits and take advantage of them.
“We don’t want to leave any of this money on the table,” he said. “We want Maryland businesses to take full advantage of the federal tax credits.”
Maryland State agencies, including the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs, the Maryland Insurance Administration, the Office of the Comptroller, the Office of the Governor and Lt. Governor, as well as the Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council, the Maryland Health Care Commission, the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative and Carefirst BlueCross BlueShield have teamed up to promote the health care tax credit. A radio ad will begin airing in the Baltimore area promoting the tax credit. Businesses can find out if they qualify for the tax credit by going on to the campaign’s website, or by texting HEALTH to 877877.