My spouse and I both work, and we have recently hired a nanny to take care of our kids. (Our youngest is not yet one year old, so we anticipate we will have a nanny for five years at least.) We try to do things by the book: We withhold taxes, and we pay a competitive rate. But I'm concerned that the health care reform law might price us out of the market. Technically, we are our nanny's employers: Does this mean we have to provide health insurance or pay a penalty?
This is a common concern, not just among families who have hired nannies, home healthcare aides, and housekeepers, but among many smaller employers. This is also one of the major compromises that made passage of the health care reform law possible: Only employers with at least 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees have to provide health insurance coverage. Smaller employees are not subject to the employer mandate and face no penalty under the law for failing to provide insurance.
Obamacare or no, you have no obligation to provide insurance. But should you? Certainly, your nanny would thank you for it. Industry groups say that health insurance coverage is a very highly coveted benefit for nannies. And, the health care reform law offers you a couple of incentives to consider providing it:
For more information on the provisions of the health care reform law, see Health Care Reform: What Employers and Employees Need to Know.