Local employers learn requirements under health care law

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SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Dozens of small business owners gathered at the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce Monday morning to hear a Knoxville attorney break down their to-do's before the Affordable Health Care Act goes into place.

Chad Hatmaker explained only large employers, providing work for 50 or more full time employees, can be penalized for not providing coverage. But part time employees can factor into that equation if they work enough combined hours each week.

2013 is the year for deadlines. Employers will be responsible for reporting an employee's insurance cost on their W-2, giving them a summary of benefits and taking an additional .9% Medicare tax from everyone.

In 2014, "It's time to pay or play," said Hatmaker.

Employers will be responsible for providing adequate coverage or paying the penalty. For some, the penalty will be less than providing coverage for all.

There are only a couple of ways around the law. Employers can cut back on employees' hours or on the number they employ, but that may not help productivity and profits.

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