Many Small Business Owners Face Confusion About Health Insurance Rules

Confusion over the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – popularly known as Obamacare – is certainly common these days, but any such issues experienced by small business owners may be even more impactful than that of others who might want to buy their own health insurance coverage.

Entrepreneurs who buy their own insurance through public exchanges these days may not have all the options available to them when it comes to trying to cover their workers that individual consumers do, and that can lead to significant confusion, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. This is particularly true of small businesses located in states running their own exchanges, rather than letting the federal government administer the marketplaces for them.

While the federal exchange does not include small business plans this year – thanks to a delay in the implementation of the employer mandate, which was originally announced in July – seven states across the country operating their own exchanges might. While some have faced delays in rolling them out, it nonetheless remains incumbent upon small business owners to know their options and what's required of them in the coming  year, before the employer mandate takes effect for all companies with 50 or more full-time workers at the start of 2015.

That's also the case for owners who don't know whether they should buy group insurance plans for all workers at their small businesses, versus individual coverage for themselves and their families, the report said. Companies that have relatively few employees, which are often run as family-only businesses, may face even more confusion about which kind of coverage will work best for them.

"I went to enroll and I was like, now I have to know if I'm going to go through the business or not – and I got stopped because I don't know," Mike Heacox, who owns a small business for which he and his wife are the only employees, told the newspaper.

Owners worried about the projected increase in costs for their small business insurance budgets may want to consider the ways in which they can trim the price tags for other policies. Shopping around for more affordable tech insurance or liability insurance, for example, can save an enterprise thousands of dollars per year, which can then be allocated to covering the rising cost of health coverage.