Small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the US are facing impossible choices because of the skyrocketing costs of health insurance premiums, and, in many cases, the lack of access to coverage. Here are some of their stories.
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Pioneer Overhead Door | Las Vegas, Nevada
Tax credits help Nevada business man
keep healthcare for employees
Tax credits help Nevada business man keep healthcare for employees
For Ron Nelsen, offering his employees health insurance is the right thing to do. But, it also serves a more practical purpose that directly impacts his bottom line. As he sees it, providing health insurance is key to keeping his small business, Pioneer Overhead Door, competitive.
"In good times it helps hire and retain good people."
Since he took over the business, which sells and installs garage doors in homes and businesses, in 1982, Nelsen paid the full freight employee health insurance. But after years of double-digit price increases, and a Las Vegas building boom that went bust, he had to cut his contribution to 50 percent in 2009. His four employees, who earn an average annual salary of $33,500, pick up the remainder. Nelsen dreaded the idea that some day he would be priced out and no longer be able to keep up his decades-long commitment to help provide healthcare coverage. But now, Nelsen is getting some help.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law a year ago, contains a provision that allows employers to claim a tax credit for up to 35 percent of their insurance premiums in 2010. That means Nelsen, who pays $950 a month for his employeesâ coverage, was able to claim $2,235 on his tax return this year. Thatâs money in his pocket, he says, which he can use to provide for his family or his business.
"It keeps me in the game where Iâm not even thinking about shutting insurance off and saying âguys youâre on your own."
âIt helps. Itâs a wonderful thing,â he said. âIt keeps me in the game where Iâm not even thinking about shutting insurance off and saying âguys youâre on your own.â