Highmark Launches New Tax Calculator to Help Small Businesses Estimate Tax Credits Through Health Care Reform

PITTSBURGH, March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --  Beginning with tax year 2010, many small businesses are eligible for new small business tax credits through health care reform.

The tax credits, available on a sliding scale, are worth up to 35 percent of a small business' health insurance premium costs in 2010, increasing up to 50 percent on Jan. 1, 2014.

To qualify, small-business employers must contribute at least 50 percent of the premium cost of employees enrolled in either single or family health insurance coverage, have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees and pay average annual wages below $50,000.

To help small businesses calculate the tax credits available to them, Highmark – in partnership with H&R Block – has launched a Small Business Tax  Calculator on www.highmarkonhealthreform.com, the company's health care reform website.  

"One of health care reform's goals is to expand health insurance coverage to more individuals, including those employed by small businesses," said Vik Mangalmurti, vice president of Highmark's Office of Health Care Reform. "The intent of the federal tax credits is to help small businesses provide that coverage, and the tax calculator lets employers run the numbers to see if they are eligible for a credit and the amount of their potential savings."

Highmark launched www.highmarkonhealthreform.com shortly after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010.

In addition to the new Small Business Tax Calculator, the website includes many features benefitting employers including daily updates, an interactive timeline, key facts about the provisions, videos, a grandfathering-at-a-glance chart, and AskBlue Health Reform, a web experience for navigating reform.

Additional information about the small business tax credit is available on the Highmark website and through the IRS.

About Highmark

Highmark Inc., based in Pittsburgh, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Highmark serves 4.7 million members in Pennsylvania and West Virginia through the company's health care benefits business and is one of the largest Blue plans in the nation. Highmark has 20,500 employees across the country. For more than 70 years, Highmark's commitment to the community has consistently been among the company's highest priorities as it strives to positively impact the places where members call home. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

SOURCE Highmark Inc.