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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Its been one year since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law

Its been one year since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law
It's expected to lower the federal deficit by billions over the next 10 years.

This weeks marks the first anniversary the Affordable Care Act was signed into law... 

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Terry Gardiner director of the Small Business Majority's National Policy Development came to Cleveland Monday to meet with small business owners to discuss new benefits available under the act. 

Gardiner tells Newsradio WTAM 1100 businesses with under 25 employees may be eligible for up to a 35% tax credit on their income taxes. Owners need to provide health insurance for their employees and pay at least 50% of the coverage to qualify. This has been in effect since January 1, 2010 and will go on for several years. 

This could save owners a good chunk of money. "The average health insurance policy costs about $5,000 for one employee," says Gardiner. Small business pays on average 18% more for health insurance than large firms. 

The credit is also for available for nonprofit employers. They can get up to a 25% credit. 

The act also calls for the creation of state health insurance marketplaces or exchanges by 2014. This allows owners to pool their buying power which will drive down insurance costs says Gardiner. 

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the Affordable Care Act will lower the federal deficit by more than $143 billion over the next 10 years, and by more than $1 trillion in the following decade. 

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