Health Insurance Exchanges
Starting in 2014, states must create health insurance exchanges (pools) for small businesses and their employees. These marketplaces, or Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOPs), are meant to kick in as the 35% tax credit expires. Exchanges will allow small businesses to band together to gain better pricing, more options, and greater bargaining power.
There is some relief for the 22 million individuals who work for themselves and pay out of pocket for their health coverage. The 35% tax credit also applies in 2014 for self-employed individuals earning less than $43,320 (or family of four with income below $88,200). Furthermore, independent contractors and self-employed individuals will be able to join the health insurance exchanges.