Ask the CPA – “It’s Time for Mandated Affordability?”

What is the individual mandate (under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare) and do I need to be concerned?  How will the law affect my small business?

The individual mandate is here.  Ostensibly, the federal exchanges were opened on October 1st.  In reality, there is much work to be done, but nevertheless, the mandate is currently the law and it’s something about which all of us need to be concerned.

In simple terms, all individuals must have health insurance for themselves and their dependents, or pay a penalty.  The penalties begin in 2014 and will be levied by the IRS on your tax return.  The penalties are the lesser of (1) a flat dollar amount/percentage of your income, or (2) the national average premium for the lowest-level plan providing minimum coverage.  The penalty is incurred for each month that the individual lacks coverage.  It is written as such that the penalty is payable upon notice and demand by the IRS (presumably meaning that if it is not paid with the tax return, the IRS will send a notice demanding payment).

As has been much reported recently, even if you currently have health insurance, there is no guarantee that it has the minimum essential coverage that is required under the law, so a review of your policy is necessary.  Many individuals have received cancellation notices, meaning they will have to find insurance via the federal exchanges (for Ohio residents).  Although there is a move afoot currently to allow individuals to keep their current coverage for one additional year even if it does not meet the current standards, nothing is definite.  It appears that the one-year extension of non-qualifying plans would apply to small businesses that offer such non-qualifying coverage to its employees.

If you have health insurance through your employer, then you should have received (or will receive soon) information regarding your current plan and the exchanges.  If you do not, then the federal exchanges exist for you.  You may also consult with local health insurance agents as health insurance companies have obviously modified their healthcare plan offerings to comply with the law.

Regarding businesses, there was a lot of news earlier this year when large employers (those with greater than 50 employees) were granted a one-year reprieve on the mandated coverage of health insurance for their employees (the “employer mandate”).  Still, large businesses face very large penalties if they do not offer health insurance to their employees, or if the insurance they offer does not meet the minimum coverage requirements.  Therefore, many businesses that may exceed the 50 employee threshold are seeking many ways to remain “small,” typically by cutting hours to fall below the 30-hour-per week threshold on average.

Some small businesses have changed how they offer health insurance to their employees, either by changing employee hours, as noted above, by adopting a self-funded health insurance model, or by using the exchanges themselves. A good resource for small businesses regarding healthcare is  Not only will you find a summary of the changes, but will also become aware of the other nuances of the law that take effect this year and next year.

There are credits available to individuals and businesses to help pay for the insurance, but these are all dependent on a variety of factors, many relating to income/salary level.

Overall, it’s simple to state that it is a federal requirement that all individuals have health insurance or pay a penalty.  It can be very complex, however, to determine how to fully comply with this requirement to avoid penalty.  Your employer, current health insurance agent, CPA or other trusted advisor provide great resources to assist you during this time.  It never hurts to ask.

Queries about Trouble with Trains in the Quarry

"15 Miles Per Hour"

“15 Miles Per Hour”

I had heard of the train in the quarry when I was a child, most likely shortly after I moved to Delaware, Ohio as a child; but as with all tales of the sort, I can’t exactly pinpoint where I had heard it.  It’s a simple tale, lacking the details it needs the most.  There was a train, and it crashed into the quarry.   Questions reach a lot of unknowns, and to be safe, we often use ‘it’s said that-‘ rather than claim we believe it.

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Rain or Shine: The Delaware Car Show

Car Show

This Saturday on Sandusky Street, between Harrison Street and Central Avenue, two hundred and thirty five cars gathered in the rainy morning  for the twentieth annual “Blast from the Past” car show.   While the weather seems to have put a damper on things in the numbers of people and cars, it didn’t take away the spirit of the show, or the people who came out to work or visit.

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Folklore from you needed: What Delaware History are you curious about?

Delaware’s storied past…

A city is more than a designated amount of land with a name attached to it. It is more than buildings and street names, stores and ordinances. No, a city is the people who live within it, not only living, but those long passed away, leaving whispers of tales, whether true or not. We may not know where some of the stories we hear originated, or where they will go, but each holds a power that keeps them going. These are our oral traditions, otherwise called folklore, or urban legends, things we may not be aware if they’re true or not, but we’ve heard of them.

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Delaware, Home Of My Heart.

ady2 Defining Delaware,

 Some call it a bedroom community, others the home of Ohio Weslyan University.  Referred to as “The Big ‘D'” by me and my cohorts, those of us who grew up in surrounding smaller towns.  Delaware, Ohio has always had a lot to offer.

My own love affair began with this big town/small city when my family moved to Ashley in 1970.  I was ten years old.  Ashley was a quaint lovely town at that time.  Many of our needs were met there.  Twice a week it was necessary to trek down U.S. 42 for recreation, services, or staples.  “The Big ‘D’ ” was my parents town of choice to refuel our lives.

My favorite memories…

Every Thursday after school we made the trip.  Mom and I walked “downtown” while my brother had Speech therapy on W. Central Avenue at The Delaware CentAveSpeech and Hearing Center.  To my delight we would “window shop” at Bauereis Shoes, The People’s Store, Gray’s Shoes and Barger Jewelry.  Barger Jewelry is the only one of the four still remaining.   We usually ended up at McLellans.  I had the choice of spending my allowance there or later in the trip.  “The Dime Store”  as it was called back in the day is long gone: However the smell of the building remains the same, evoking sweet memories filled with nostalgia. 

After “speech” it was off to a 1970’s favorite, Burger Chef, on S. Sandusky Street for supper. Then back to W. Central Ave. we would land, across from “the hospital.” The only  other option in my childhood budget was the store Ben Franklin.  I would buy a trinket there if nothing at McLellan’s had suited ady4me. The final destination in the same plaza was Baskin Robbins.  I ordered Pralines and Cream on a sugar cone, for probably four years worth of Thursdays.  Roughly 200 cones.  

The agenda on Saturday morning was quite different. Trip number two was with Dad, grocery shopping embellished with pie or a burger, depending upon what time we made it into town.  My dad considered pie a breakfast food.  The plan always the same.  “Krogers” on S. Sandusky Street.  (the letter “s” on the end was pronounced back then, which makes me an “Old Ohioan” I guess) Today most pronounce it as spelled without the “s”, ” Kroger”.  Or maybe it did have an “s” at the end and the company changed it. 
Either way before we shopped we stopped at The Hamburger Inn for the above mentioned.  Sitting on the stools watching the cook was always fascinating and fun.  If we went early enough the waitress and the cook were sometimes the same person.  The pie or burger was always fresh and tasty, dad said that  the ADY1coffee was good, every week.  The hustle and bustle of Saturday mornings downtown Delaware is still one of my fondest memories. 

 The future…

The opportunity to share stories, my very relationship with Delaware for over 40 years is a gift.  Living both “in town” and out for over a decade, and visiting the following two,  watching my town undergo its many transitions has been fascinating.  After thirty years away, I arrived home through the backdoor in 2010, moving smack in the middle of the Historic Northwest Neighborhood.  The fresh ady3perspective is exciting.   What is old is new. 

Blogging twice monthly for DelawareO,  it is my goal is to share these memories once a month.  The other contribution will be my experiences in current Delaware, from the perspective of a local consumer, market-driving Baby Boomer citizen.   It is an honor to be involved in this community as a business owner, volunteer, and now a blogger. Welcomes Writing Staff.

You want writers? We got Writers!

Last month we put out the call for writers, and wow did we get them. We are excited to announce our first class writing staff. With no further adieu here the are!

wpid-Nicole.jpgNicole Fowles

Nicole loves her community. She is a Communications Specialist for the Delaware County District Library and Vice President to Main Street Delaware’s Board of Directors. She and her husband moved to Delaware in 2009 and immediately felt comfortable calling it home. You’ll most likely find them eating or drinking at any of the downtown establishments if they’re not at home brewing a beer of their own. Nicole has also dabbled in community theater and has a fervent love and appreciation for the arts. She is excited to translate that all that to the written word for DelawareO.

Alice J. Drew-Yoder wpid-Alice.jpg

Alice comes to us with a wide and varied, from bar/ restaurant management to Lactation consultant as well as an extensive volunteer resume. She has worked in the fitness industry as an avocation for 25 years. For the past fifteen as a Small Business /Owner Fitness Instructor/Yoga Teacher. Delicately balancing career, family and ever-changing roles has been her great honor. The quest to live fully, wholly and spiritually in her always active, wonderfully warm, fabulously fun, frequently fragile life has been a gift. The mom of three outstanding, lovely daughters, and “Mimi” to two adorable grandsons keeps her busy. Alice lives with the man of her dreams ’til death do ’em part” in Delaware’s Historic Northwest Neighborhood along with their two rescue dogs and a revolving cast of characters. Alice is excited and humbled to be a part of the DelawareO Blog staff.

wpid-Anne.jpgAnne K. Anderson

Anne is a recent transplant to Delaware. A graduate of The Ohio State University and Capital University Law School, she now coordinates a volunteer advocacy program for abused kids. Anne loves to try new recipes, read fiction, move furniture around the house, listen to indie music, and find fun things to do in Delaware. Her patient and dedicated husband Victor stays home and takes care of two very stubborn creatures- their toddler Samuel and the saddest-looking-basset-hound-ever Lola.

Tara Salsmanwpid-Tara.jpg

Tara was born and raised in Alabama, living on every border the state has, before leaving to study psychology at Berry College in Rome, GA. After receiving a Master’s in Education from the University of Kansas, she moved to Atlanta and met fun her husband, Scott. The two moved to Saratoga Springs, New York and after 2 1/2 years and 28 weeks of a twin pregnancy, they moved into the Northwest Neighborhood of Delaware. Tara now stays home occupying their two girls with visits to local spots and crayons while running a small business, Swallowtail Calligraphy, during nap time. Tara also loves Auburn football, New York City and ice cream.


Brianna Lawcock

Brianna grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, moving to Delaware when she was nine. At twenty seven, the city has become a hometown for her. Always a heavy reader, that developed into writing, she helped on her college’s literary journal, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Engaged for a year now to a Delaware native, she is close to her two younger brothers, and aims to one day publish a book.