Health care reform has emerged as the number-one topic among small business owners in 2013. While the economy remains a concern, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, has confused and confounded even the most educated and well-versed employers. As the government continues to present new rules, guidelines and clarifications to the law, business owners continue to scramble to keep up. Here we present seven questions commonly asked by employers.Question #1: The individual mandate in 2014 means… you must have health insurance by Jan 1 2014 or that you have to have coverage before Jan 1 2014?Answer: The Individual mandate is effective January 1, 2014. You must have health coverage for at least 9 months in the calendar year to avoid the penalty.Question #2: How many states have so far filed and received approval for establishing their state exchange?Answer: 20 states have so far set up their own exchange that will meet ACA requirements. Several of these states include New York, California, Kentucky, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington.Question #3: So EVERYONE needs insurance, correct? Do all employers – even those with only 10 employees – need to provide employees with state exchange information?Answer: The federal agencies implementing Health Care Reform issued an extension on January 24, 2013 for the required Employer Notice to Employees on State Exchanges due by March 1, 2013. The employer notice has been postponed until later in 2013, probably late summer or early fall.Question #4: What if a person has multiple jobs at two or more employers? Who is on the hook, if anyone, for providing health care?Answer: If the employee works greater than 30 hours per week on average at both employers than both employer are required to offer affordable coverage. The employee may select either employer plan or a state exchange plan. If the employee is not working 30 or more hours the employer is not subject to the mandate to offer coverage.Question #5: What is the employee has multiple jobs at the same employer and it is more than 30 hours?Answer: If a large employer they are required to offer affordable coverage or be subject to penalties.Question #6: Is there any penalty for reducing jobs to < 30 hours to avoid this?Answer: No, there is no penalty if an employer reduces hours below 30 to avoid offering coverage.Question #7: What will be the benefits for a Non-Resident Alien?Answer: Aliens who are "lawfully present in the United States" are subject to the health insurance mandate and are eligible, if otherwise qualified, to participate in the high-risk pools and the exchanges, and they are eligible for premium credits and cost-sharing subsidies. ACA expressly exempts unauthorized (illegal) aliens from the mandate to have health coverage and bars them from a health insurance exchange. Unauthorized aliens are not eligible for the federal premium credits or cost-sharing subsidies. Unauthorized aliens are also barred from participating in the temporary high-risk pools.These is no question that as we approach January 1, 2014, the date in which the individual mandage kicks-in, employers will have more and more questions about Obamacare and health care reform. Employers are advised to meet with a health care insurance professional to discuss the important issues at hand.