If your business has fewer than 50 employees, then you will NOT have to provide health insurance to your employees or pay penalties. However, if you have fewer than 25 employees and do provide health insurance benefits, you will be able to claim a tax credit.
Beginning in 2014, though, individuals will need to have health insurance or pay a penalty. And, yes, this will apply to the self-employed. Full details are available from the National Federation of Independent Business at their site: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
In 2014, the self-employed will get a tax credit if they fall within certain income requirements. Individuals making below $43,320 (or a family of four with an income below $88,200) would qualify for the credit.
Deb Howard Greenleaf, EA, CEO and Principal, of Greenleaf Accounting Services provides virtual accounting and bookkeeping services and specializes in financial management to consultants, coaches, solo professionals, and other small business owners across the US. Deb is an Enrolled Agent (EA)—an IRS-licensed tax professional—and specializes in small businesses and entrepreneurs filing Schedule C or as an LLC. As an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Deb spends her day in QuickBooks Online and specializes in providing QBO support.