Last Sunday the Los Angeles Times had a good article on what changes the average small business owner will probably be facing once the main thrust of the Affordable Care Act hits January 1, 2014.
The answer? Very little, actually, will be the impact. The 'requirement' to offer health insurance is for employers with 50 or more employees, and the estimate is that 95% of the small business owners in the US have less than that. What may have an impact, as plans are required to cover more and more, will probably be the cost of small group health insurance. That will probably be going up, oh boy, until someone figures out that health CARE reform needs to be worked on, not just health INSURANCE reform.
The other potential benefit are tax credits, but to qualify for them, it's a very convoluted formula. At this point, the estimate is that less than 10-15% of business owners have taken advantage of this. First, if you are employing family members, their premium costs don't count. Then you have to calculate the number of full time 'equivalents' and they need to make less than a certain amount, THEN amongst other things, you find out if there's anything that qualifies. Check with your tax adviser on this one, most of them are finding this confusing too.
So, my question, if the main intent of health care reform was to get more people insured, why all the hoops to jump through? Why all the punitive measures? You can lead a horse to water, but it's really rude to shove their head in the trough to make them drink. So who is really going to be impacted, in my opinion, are those of us who already have it. Those who have blown it off, are insurable and can afford it, are probably going to continue to blow it off. Stay tuned...