Small Businesses and Obamacare: What To Do

by David Rothwell, M.D.
Obamacare was created with the intent to insure health care coverage for everyone.  For those who cannot afford health insurance or obtain coverage via their employer, exchanges are being created to serve as a backstop for care.  Governor Fallin just announced last week that the state of Oklahoma would not have a state level exchange, thus individuals searching for options will have to use the federal exchange (once it’s set up).
     What does this mean for small businesses (in this case those having fewer than 50 full time equivalent employees)?  Does the act have any impact on their businesses?  Yes and no. The act was designed not to punish small businesses who cannot afford health care insurance as a benefit for employees. So for these employers, they may proceed with business as usual without the worry of this expense.  But what happens to their employees who now MUST have insurance or be “taxed” (as per the Supreme Court)?  Will they be satisfied with going to the exchanges?  Will they seek employment with larger companies (over 50 FTE’s) or other small businesses providing health benefits? This is where things get more complicated.  And no one really knows what to expect.  Larger employers are considering all options, as well.  Especially those who currently have not been providing coverage to all employees (or coverage that will not be considered qualified in 2014).This is where the ‘no’ comes into play. Employee retention now becomes a bigger issue moving forward.
     What options are available?  Up until now, nothing existed outside of your typical health insurance options. If you are a small business, you had minimum participation to qualify and the cost has only gone up over the years, as we all know. These premium costs have had to be shifted to employees and even the insurance companies are predicting a conservative 35% increase in 2014. That remains unaffordable for most small businesses that now stand to lose employees to companies providing health benefits.
     So what can you do?  The best option is to look at creative ways that make comprehensive care and coverage affordable and accessible to your employees. How?  Combine Salerno Health with health insurance products that will allow for smaller premiums that decrease over time, access to provider networks, and even the potential for gaining money back rather than losing everything spent on premiums. And all this under a plan that is a qualifying plan under Obamacare (ACA), and allows for your small business to potentially receive tax credits.
     If you are a small business owner and looking to save on health care costs, considering dropping health care as a benefit for your employees, or struggling with employee retention, call Salerno Health today to learn more about what we can do for you and your employees.
David Rothwell, M.D.
Managing Partner
Salerno Health
6307 Waterford Blvd, Ste. 127
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
405-607-4455 (main)
405-730-5257 (fax)

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