Originally posted August 2, 2013 by Allison Bell on https://www.benefitspro.com

Three federal agencies have joined to set up a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act website for small businesses.

Business.USA.gov/healthcare offers a “wizard,” or interactive tool, that offers to help business owners understand what they need to know about the new PPACA insurance options in a few quick steps.

The Small Business Administration worked with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury Department to set up the site.

The wizard starts by asking visitors about their companies’ location and size.

On the size menu, for example, the wizard asks whether the user is self-employed with no employees, has fewer than 25 employees, has up to 50 employees, or has 50 or more employees.

The site includes an explanation of how an employer can determine whether it has 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees.

Users who, say, might want to set up group health plans will see information about the new PPACA Small Business Health Options Program small-group exchange program.

In most states, in the pages of information for employers interested in setting up health plans, the SBA gives an answer to the question, “Can I use an agent or broker to buy health insurance in the marketplace?”

“You will be able to use a licensed agent or broker to provide help or handle your SHOP business,” the SBA says. “You won’t pay more if you use a SHOP agent or broker.”

For users in Vermont, a state that is trying to eliminate small-group market broker commissions, the SBA makes no mention of agents and brokers.