FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 5, 2010
Media Contact: Peggy Hinz
Anthem Blue Cross Helping Businesses Navigate Health Care Changes with Online Tools
New Grandfathering Tool Helps Businesses Determine Best Health Plan Solution
H&R Block Tax Calculator Tool Helps Companies Determine Tax Credits and Financial Impacts
Woodland Hills, CA – October 5, 2010 – In an effort to help minimize confusion regarding implementation of health care reform provisions among business owners, Anthem Blue Cross has created two new tools to help businesses navigate the changes in health care, a grandfathering tool and a tax calculator tool.
Both tools are available at www.anthem.com/ca/healthcarereform. The small business tax calculator tool and tax content were developed by The Tax Institute at H&R Block and also may be viewed by visiting www.thetaxinstitute.com.
The interactive grandfathering tool is designed to help businesses better understand what grandfathering means, if they qualify for it, and what options are available to them with regard to their health plan. Anthem has also joined forces with H&R Block to provide a convenient, comprehensive tool to help small business owners understand the financial impact, as well as the opportunities that accompany the changes in the health care system.
“The grandfathering tool is another part of our commitment to help make health care reform work,” said Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross. “This tool will allow business owners to understand what grandfathering is, qualification parameters, and if it is potentially in their best interests to grandfather their current health plan. This tool can help businesses quickly and easily determine a course of action based on their current plan in an easy to use and understandable tool.”
Kehaly added, “We are also extremely pleased to partner with H&R Block to make the small business tax calculator available, which can help small business owners understand the tax credits they are qualified for and allow them to better control and anticipate their health care costs. It’s Anthem’s hope that this resource will allow owners to focus on running a successful business and add some clarity as they navigate the health care system.”
The small business tax calculator can help users understand the following reform provisions:
• The small business health care premium credit for qualified employers with 25 or fewer employees and average annual wages under $50,000 (2010)
• Requirements to provide employee coverage for full-time employees who work for businesses with 50 or more employees (2014)
• Employer penalties for not providing coverage when at least one full-time employee is enrolled in a subsidized health care plan (2014)
• The excise tax on high-cost health plans, which applies to plans that cost more than $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family (2018).
“These are tremendous tools that can help small businesses like ours better understand the changes associated with health care reform and to take advantage of the available credits and other provisions designed to improve the affordability of health care,” said Renee White Fraser, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Fraser Communications. “These interactive tools are clearly going to save us time and money, and I am sure many other businesses will benefit as well.”
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About Anthem Blue Cross
Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association.