The implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s coverage mandate has drawn a lot of criticism from small businesses because of the perception that it will force many companies to dramatically increase the amount they pay for their employees’ coverage. However, some experts say that the changes put into place as a part of the law can actually be beneficial to many such companies.
While some have certainly seen their premiums increase for covering their employees every month, the fact of the matter is that many are likely also seeing their monthly health insurance costs decline, according to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. One of the concerns was that companies with relatively few employees that do not offer health insurance coverage to any of them would face huge cost increases, but it seems as though this stems from a misconception more so than anything else; only companies with 50 employees or more are actually required to provide such plans, and nearly all of them across the country did so well before the ACA’s mandate. In all, though, about 1 in 3 small businesses nationwide provide coverage, including those with fewer than 50 full-time workers.
How are companies handling it?
At this time, the mandate for coverage is not actually in place, due to its having been delayed by the federal government until 2015, but many companies are already examining their options, the report said. In addition to going through the state and federal exchanges, most small businesses also have the option of using private marketplaces, which operate in much the same way. However, because many companies simply don’t pay for their workers’ health coverage, and will not be required to under the ACA, exploring their options does not in any way tie them down.
“Anybody who has less than 50 people would be crazy not to look at [such coverage],” Bob Goldstein, a certified public accountant who slashed his company’s annual health coverage costs by $81,000 by shopping around, told the newspaper.
However, as each owner and company’s situation is different, it might be wise for them to also explore new ways to cut costs. This might include investigating other small business insurance expenses, such as those for liability insurance coverage. By finding more affordable plans, companies may be able to save thousands annually, which could then be devoted to other concerns.