How The Affordable Care Act Impacts Businesses

How The Affordable Care Act Impacts Businesses

The Affordable Care Act will start to take effect on October 1.Some business owners are stil trying to figure out how it will impact them.

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010 but it won't fully go into effect until next year.

The complex new law has many business owners wondering what to expect.

The new law will impact small businesses in a different way than larger businesses.

Audra Streetman has the story:

In 2010 when President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, many business owners had questions.

"At that particular time I had no understanding of the bill whatsoever, as most of the people in Congress had no understanding of the bill either, which they probably still today still do not."

David Baldwin is the president of Best Deal Auto Sales. The business is 14 years old and employs about 35 people.

"So it would be kind of nice to know you know what really, if I we're required to do anything, or if we're required to do nothing."

The Affordable Care Act … also known as Obamacare … will fully go into effect at the start of 2014.

However, some provisions of the law take effect October 1 of this year.

The impact of the law will differ depending on the size of a business.

About 96% of small businesses today have fewer than 50 employees.

These businesses do not have to provide insurance but the new law aims to make it cheaper.

Those who are self-employed and uninsured will be required to buy insurance.

Under the Affordable Care Act, health care tax credits for small businesses will increase from 35% to 50%, providing an incentive for employers to provide health insurance.

"We've chosen to kind of wait and see what we really have to do before we actually decide to do it."

Sweetwater Sound employs more than 500 people.

Under Obamacare, large businesses with more than 50 employees are required to provide health insurance to full-time employees or pay a fine.

A major change, that isn't settling well with some business owners.

Obamacare defines "full-time" work as averaging only 30 hours per week.

Larger businesses are considering cutting hours of employees to trim the cost of providing insurance.

"Do we want to have more part-time employees, which will mean under 30 hours or do we add more full time employees, which also adds cost for the health care, that's nationwide one of the big issues with this that hasn't been figured out."

Because the Affordable Care Act creates a number of rules and regulations for large and small businesses, the impact this legislation will have on companies remains to be seen until all mandates are in place.

I'm Audra Streetman reporting.


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