64 percent of small businesses are seeing higher costs
From HealthCare.gov problems to canceled and then uncanceled healthcare plans, the Affordable Care Act has many small business owners reeling. Another top concern: premium increases.
“The NFIB Research Foundation recently put out a study that found 64 percent of small businesses reported that they paid more for insurance premiums per employee in 2013 than they did in 2012,” said Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB’s manager of public affairs. “Rising healthcare costs and increased requirements and taxes in the healthcare law are leading to increased costs. With the major insurance provisions beginning January 1, 2014, small business owners can expect further increased costs.”
Bryan Brenner, CEO of Indianapolis-based employee benefits firm FirstPerson Advisors, says the healthcare law provisions that took effect Jan. 1 would have increased each of his employee’s premium costs by 81 percent. That’s a total of $180,000 for 55 families.
“I believe in reform,” he wrote in a Sept. 18 blog post on his company website about how Obamacare was affecting his business. “We have an inefficient system of healthcare, and it has to change. But I can’t sustain this kind of hit all at once, and neither can my employees.”
Brenner’s company was able to avoid the drastic premium increases by renewing its group healthcare plan early on Dec. 1, an option that many insurance carriers offered before the New Year. In addition to early renewal options, some small business owners considered whether to continue offering group insurance or require employees to purchase their own plans on the health insurance exchanges.
Jim Wesp, co-owner and vice president of Kettle Moraine Hardwoods, a hardwood sawmill and lumber supplier in Hartford and Caledonia, Wis., chose to eliminate his company’s group plan for 2014.
“Each employee will be paid more based on the company contribution that we have been making to their health insurance,” he said. “Everyone can now buy the plan that works best for them and not have to worry about getting canceled or uprated.”
Share how ACA is affecting your business at www.NFIB.com/HealthcareStories. NFIB will bring these stories to Congress to demand legislative changes that provide relief to small business owners and their employees.