A lot of attention has been paid in the past few weeks to the ways in which consumers have been affected by the widespread cancelations of their existing health insurance policies as a result of minimum standards put into place by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Now, however, it seems that many small businesses are in the same boat, and that could present significant problems for many entrepreneurs across the country.
The wave of small business policy cancelations is now starting to take a serious toll on independent companies across the country, because the health insurance plans they previously provided to their employees did not meet the standards in the ACA, according to a report from The Washington Post. As such, many owners have taken to letting their elected officials on Capitol Hill know about their frustrations, including in testimony this week before the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.
Often, the reason these firms had the plans they did was that those health care options provided what they felt was the best balance between coverage for their few workers, and the costs they had to bear to provide that coverage, the report said. Now, because of all these cancelations for the companies nationwide, many find themselves having to bear a higher cost to provide plans, which are only somewhat similar but come with benefits that do not necessarily fit their employees' needs.
This has been exacerbated, in many ways, by the Obama administration's decision to delay the implementation of its small business health insurance exchanges – which were supposed to open at the same time as those for the general public – by one year, the report said. While that also came with a delay in the small business coverage mandate, that nonetheless left many companies across the country somewhat in the lurch. Further, while states had the ability to run their own small business exchanges if they so chose, many of those that did so have run into problems of their own.
Owners who want to continue providing health coverage to their workers may consequently need to free up a little cash from their bottom lines, and may be able to do so by seeking out more affordable small business insurance for other types of policies. For instance, slashing liability insurance costs may free up thousands of dollars annually that can instead go toward helping to pay for workers' health plans.