PORTLAND, Ore. – In the current economy, many small businesses will be taking advantage of the health care reform small business tax credit, and Regence BlueCross BlueShield is offering a resource to help.

Regence has launched an online calculator which aids small businesses in estimating their business’ potential savings from the new health care reform tax credits and determining overall affordability of health coverage for employees.

As a member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence partnered with H&R Block® on the project to provide online calculations. Small businesses can access the tool by visiting http://www.regence.com/taxcredit

“During these tough economic times, Regence is honored to partner with H&R Block to provide a tool for Idaho’s small businesses that can assist them in their efforts to offer health coverage to their employees,” said Don Antonucci, vice president of sales for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon.  

As part of the new health care reform law, many small businesses with fewer than 25 employees may qualify for a tax credit––up to 35 percent of their premium costs. The tax credit is an incentive to help small businesses start or continue to offer and pay for employee health coverage.

To qualify for the tax credit, small businesses must:
• Have fewer than 25 full-time employees (or the equivalent)
• Have an average annual salary of less than $50,000 (those employees must have an annual salary?)
• Pay at least 50percent of its employees’ premiums

For businesses that qualify, small business administrators should go to http://www.regence.com/taxcredit to access the tool. They will be prompted to answer basic questions about their employees and insurance coverage, including the number of employees, payroll and the insurance premiums the company expects to pay.  The calculator then generates an overview detailing the company’s health care costs and tax liability for 2010-2013, 2014-2017, 2018 and beyond.

Additional questions about the online tool should be directed to http://www.regence.com/taxcredit or you may visit www.hrblock.com.

About Regence

Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence serves nearly 2.5 million members as Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Each health plan is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit www.regence.com or follow us on Twitter.