Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Small Businesses are Exempt from PPACA?

A couple of weeks ago The Hill reported that 48% of small business owners believe that PPACA will hurt their business. In the article there is a quote from President Obama about the impact this will have on small business. He said: "Some small businesses are being told their costs are going to go up, even though they're exempted from the law" or stand to benefit from it.

I am a small business owner working within a large insurance agency. I have two employees and I provide benefits including medical insurance. Under our arrangement I currently pay 100% of the premiums. I have been able to do so because we are a healthy low risk and because my employees understand the value of the benefit and know that it is part of the overall compensation package.

I strongly object to the notion that I am exempted from the law. It is true I can drop coverage and not pay a penalty. But that would put my employees into exchanges where every dollar they have to spend in premiums is more than what they currently pay. My key employee, based on family income, wouldn't qualify for a subsidy. She (52) and her spouse (53/smoker) would be looking at a $15,000 pay cut. For this key employee I currently pay around $8,700 a year. Even if I gave her a raise by that amount it still costs her a ton of money out of pocket.

We will also see our premiums go up. Our insurance company has informed us that because of community rating we are looking at an increase of 50% or more. On top of this factor we also will pay a PCORI fee, a reinsurance fee, a risk adjustment fee, and a market share fee. In total these fees will represent roughly a 3% increase. Add to that we now must provide an array of additional benefits without limitations that we don't use nor need. Last, they will also charge us more because our industry code is a low risk one.  In total my guess is the costs will rise by close to 75%.

My premium increases are going to make it unaffordable to remain in business and dropping coverage simply shifts an enormous burden onto the people who help the business be successful. So, my question to President Obama and HHS is please explain how my business stands to benefit from PPACA?
blog comments powered by Disqus