Eight million individuals have signed up for healthcare via the Affordable Care Act, many of which are pleased with the coverage.
But on the flip side, some businesses are saying Obamacare may be hurting more than helping them.
??Obamacare has increased our costs over the last few years with the mandated coverage and also the fact that they've charged the taxes to insurance companies,?? said Terry Reed, president of US Special Delivery. ??Those have been directly passed onto us, which negatively affects our employees.??
US Special Delivery in Kingsford offers delivery service to many states in the Midwest and Canada. They always offered health care to their employees, but are having to change things a bit as they prepare for the Employer Mandate set to take place in 2015.
??We??ve had to take on more risks as a company so that we can make the premiums more affordable for our employees,?? Reed said.
Diane Gauthier at St. Onge Insurance in Ishpeming has been working with many small businesses during the implementation. She explained that companies are separated into groups. Come the Employer Mandate in 2015, businesses with more than 50 employees will be fined $2,000 per employee, not counting the first 30, if they choose not to offer health care. However, this may be hard for some businesses who, after adding seasonal and part-time employees, meet the 50 plus employee threshold.
??Now those companies are forced to either lessen the hours that these people work so they don't fall into needing to cover them because they can't afford to, or disband the program altogether, the healthcare, then pay the penalty at the end. But that's not necessarily for all businesses; all businesses have their hurdles to jump,?? Gauthier said.
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be able to offer coverage to their employees via the SHOP exchanges on healthcare.gov, and while that may be helpful for smaller business, for companies like US Special Delivery with over 200 employees, it may not be so attractive.
??What I do see Obamacare doing is providing subsidies for some people and free healthcare for some people, and that's good for them, but it's also increasing the cost for individuals, small businesses, and their employees at a time when they're struggling and have been struggling to pay for healthcare costs prior to Obamacare and that's not so good,?? Reed said.