How a Philly Small Business Owner Is Dealing with Obamacare

Author: Katie Truesdell Date: March 17, 2014

This NFIB member says he won't be turning to any government-sponsored options.

Since the launch of the Affordable Care Act in October 2013, small business owners have grappled with a variety of problems: glitches, canceled then uncanceled plans, and more.

Another headline-grabbing issue revolves around the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace, a marketplace for employers with 50 or fewer full-time employees to search for, compare and purchase competing insurance plans. At first, all states were required to provide online SHOP exchanges by Oct. 1, 2013. More delays later, and many states are still without the online option until the new opening date of Nov. 1, 2014.

But does it really matter to small business owners? Are they even interested in shopping for insurance in the marketplace? Here we talk to small business owner William Marsh of American Bar Products in Pennsylvania about how he and his 10 employees are approaching their heath insurance coverage under Obamacare.

Have you enrolled in the SHOP exchange?

“We have not enrolled, nor do we anticipate enrolling, into any government-sponsored exchange,” says Marsh, an NFIB member. “The exchanges are sponsored by the federal government, which borrows some 20 to 25 percent of its budget and is effectively bankrupt. It’s irresponsible for counterparties to rely upon a bankrupt entity—as a businessman, I will not engage in a contract with a counterparty unable to execute its commitment.”

What are you doing instead of turning to the SHOP exchange?

Marsh renewed his old plan before the end of 2013, so he continues to offer health insurance through a private insurance company. He expects the plan to expire at the end of 2014, however, and is unsure what he will do then.

What has happened with your health insurance premiums?

“Our premiums increased 30 percent last year, and we’re expecting another big increase this year,” Marsh says, adding that he has also been inundated with paperwork about the new healthcare law.

How is the ACA affecting your employees?

“There is huge uncertainty about healthcare among my employees,” Marsh says. “They know the status quo is not sustainable, they cannot pay much more for coverage, and they have little understanding—like the rest of us—of how things can get better.”

Do you own a business in Philadelphia? Become an NFIB member today and join 350,000 other entrepreneurs who are saving time and money through their membership

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