Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon Launches Online Tool to Help Small Businesses with Tax Credits

PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In the current economy, many small businesses will be taking advantage of the health care reform small business tax credit, and Regence BlueCross and BlueShield of Oregon is offering a resource to help. Regence has launched an online calculator to aid small businesses in estimating their potential savings from the new health care reform tax credits, and in 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.

"Regence is honored to partner with H&R Block to provide a tool for Oregon's small businesses that helps them manage their health care costs and learn how they can make the most of the new health care reform tax credit," 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 its equivalent)
  • Have an average annual salary of less than $50,000
  • Pay at least 50% 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 a few 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 small businesses may call 1-800-HRBLOCK.

About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is a leading health plan in Oregon, with more than 750,000 members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, serving nearly 2.5 million members as Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Each 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 www.twitter.com/RegenceOregon.

SOURCE Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon



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