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Press Release


Media Contact: Cheryl Monkhouse
(404) 842-8516
cheryl.monkhouse@bcbsga.com

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Helps Businesses Navigate Health Care Changes with New 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

ATLANTA – September 29, 2010 – In an effort to help minimize confusion regarding implementation of health care reform provisions among business owners, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) has created two new tools to help business navigate the changes in health care, a grandfathering tool and a tax calculator tool.

Both tools are available at www.anthem.com/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. BCBSGa 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 Morgan Kendrick, President, BCBSGa. “This tool will allow business owners to understand what grandfathering means to them, what the qualification parameters are, 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 easy-to-understand tool.” 

Kendrick added, “We are also extremely pleased to be partnering 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 BCBSGa’s hope that this resource will enable 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 tools will provide us with an easy way to navigate and communicate the financial impact that health care reform may have on our small business customers,” said Jeff Fishback, President and CEO, Purchasing Alliance Solutions. “They will also help us to better communicate about grandfathering and if it might be in their best interest. For example, whether they should take advantage of the available credits and other provisions designed to improve the affordability of health care. I anticipate that interactive tools such as these will help small businesses save time and money. This is just one more example of why BCBSGa is the leader in the industry.”

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About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association® . The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.bcbsga.com.

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