The date by which individuals will have to be covered by some sort of health insurance plan is rapidly approaching, but the rules are very different for how businesses large and small will be mandated to provide coverage, both in terms of implementation date and the rules affecting them. As such, many owners still say they aren’t quite sure how to proceed when it comes to becoming compliant with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
In general, the concern among small business owners is that any attempts to keep up with the requirements of the ACA will result in issues related to the already-thin margins on which many such companies currently operate, according to a report from Fox Business. As such, even the recent decision to further delay coverage requirements for companies with between 50 and 99 employees until 2016 might remain a point of concern for many entrepreneurs. Smaller companies, though, face no such mandates to provide coverage to workers, and that might be another issue of which owners are unaware.
“Businesses under 50 heads, which is the majority of small businesses, haven’t seen Obamacare affect them in terms of decisions with their staff,” Barry Sloane, chief executive officer of the small business health insurance agency Newtek, told the site. “People are concerned whether or not they have the cash flow to hire more people. This slowness in the economy and the effects of Obamacare are definitely putting a damper on business activity.”
What will it cost?
Of course, the vast majority of small businesses across the country do currently provide health insurance to their employees regardless of the federal law – as many see it as simply being “the right thing to do” and a way to attract higher-quality candidates – and those who do are likely to see their costs for doing so rise in the coming years, the report said. Experts note that premiums will likely rise between 3 percent and 4 percent this year alone.
Owners hoping to shore up their finances ahead of these issues really hitting their bottom lines may want to consider the ways in which finding more affordable small business insurance for other types of coverage. For instance, cutting costs on liability insurance might be able to reduce companies’ expenses by thousands of dollars per year, which can then be devoted to other financial concerns.