Now that health care reform has become law, many roofing
professionals need to begin preparing to provide health care
benefits to their employees or pay a penalty. However, if not for a
last-minute change to the legislation advocated successfully by
NRCA, the law's requirements
would have applied to many more roofing professionals because the
construction industry largely would have been excluded from a key
small-business exemption in the legislation.
Beginning in 2014, the health care reform law requires employers
to pay a $2,000 penalty per employee if they do not provide
government-approved health care benefits to their workers. However,
recognizing that small businesses have greater difficulty affording
health insurance than large businesses, early drafts of the
legislation exempted businesses with fewer than 50 full-time
However, an amendment introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
was added that would have set the small-business exemption
threshold at fewer than five employees (and payroll expenses of at
least $250,000) only for businesses in the construction industry.
Therefore, all but the smallest construction employers would have
been excluded from the bill's small-business exemption.
Construction was the only industry singled out with no
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