What’s the latest on the Affordable Care Act and its anticipated impact on companies and their employees, especially on small businesses? If you’ve been following the events of the past couple of weeks, the answer is No one seems to know for sure! Things continue to unfold and change, and unfortunately, the result has been confusion and a whole lot of misinformation.
We definitely aren’t qualified to sort it out for you. Besides, information we found from just the beginning of November is already outdated. And it’s probably safe to say that there will be more of the same throughout the end of the year. Healthcare decisions for a lot of businesses and individuals are left hanging in the balance, while everyone searches for some clarity.
One source of confusion is that pending questions, requirements and potential courses of action regarding your health plan differ depending on whether you have 50+ FTE employees or fewer, or if you’re a sole proprietor, let’s say. Add to that whether you’re currently in a plan that meets ACA requirements, which you could potentially keep, or at least use as the basis for searching for a plan with a less-expensive premium. We’re confused just trying to write about the basics!
So, in the meantime, while all this is shaking out, the best we can offer is to point you in the direction of what we think is some responsible reporting and commentary from reputable sources. Hopefully, this will help build your understanding of healthcare reform generally, as well as some of the hot buttons and issues that continue to be debated, particularly as they relate to small businesses of all kinds.
Here are a few of the most recent:
- From WSJ Online: Small Firms Caught in Health-Policy Limbo. Writer Sarah Needleman writes about changes that happened mid-November; the possible one-year reprieve that could save businesses money in 2014; and the health plan journeys of two small firms.
- Also from WSJ Online: Small Business and ObamaCare. The publication reports on a new survey that shows that employers will drop coverage and cut hours as a result of having to comply with ACA requirements. This is an interesting read; just bear in mind that the WSJ has been predicting the maximum negative impact for small businesses pretty much since ACA was signed into law.
- From the New York Times “You’re the Boss” blog: Health-care Fixes Give Small Businesses Time to Assess. This post looks at the recent changes and delays as a possible plus for small businesses, who could have until late in 2015 to find a plan. And, there’s always the possibility that the deadline could be delayed further. And if businesses find something preferable to their current plans sooner, they can make the switch any time.
- Also from the New York Times “You’re the Boss” blog earlier in November: Two posts from Philadelphia business owner and frequent YTB contributor Paul Downs. Mr. Downs writes about his own ACA experiences thus far. We appreciate Mr. Downs’ thoughtful and honest commentary, as evidenced in these two posts, as well as his previous contributions to YTB. You’ll definitely want to read his first-hand accounts:
If you’ve found other good sources of current information, please share them below!