What a crock of sh*t.Cathy Smith, who’d hoped she’d qualify for a subsidy and made just a little too much money, had tears in her eyes. "You don't make that much money to begin with,” she said,“and the prescriptions are going to kill me."
Insurance broker Michael Harp said small businesses, part of what’s known in the industry as the “small group market,” are used to seeing health insurance premiums climb about 10 percent a year, but it’s never before been this dramatic. For Extreme Dodge to have kept deductibles and out-of-pocket costs at last year’s levels, he said, would have cost the dealership almost 50 percent more than last year.
Harp says what is happening at this dealership is representative of the other small businesses he deals with. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees currently provide health insurance to about 17 million U.S. workers, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
He said the biggest surprise to him in how the law impacts small business clients is “how many people are losers versus winners.… There are some people who do come out ahead, but I would say the overwhelming majority, they’re paying much higher rates and they have lower benefits.”
Some small businesses have been able to extend their current policies and delay the deadline for complying with the new law until sometime next year.
The Obama administration disputes the notion that the ACA puts small businesses at a disadvantage or forces them to shed health insurance. It cites a program created by the law – the Small Business Health Options Program or SHOP -- that enables businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees to shop for group health plans and notes that many small businesses can qualify for tax credits to help pay for employee premiums.
Beyond higher out-of-pocket costs, some workers at the dealership face higher premiums. Premiums vary because of age and family size. Some end up paying slightly less or about the same for premiums. But older workers with families pay significantly more.
Among the hardest hit is Campbell, a salesman with a wife and three young children, all of whom are active in athletics. The premium payments currently deducted weekly from his paycheck will increase $77, to a total of $221 per week.“That’s a huge part of the budget,” he said.“We feel betrayed, lied to, and we're pissed off.”
Four younger workers opted not to sign up for any health insurance at all, according to a company official.
Lutz, the dealership owner, said he believes that his company is maintaining its commitment to provide health care to its workers through the $2,400 stipend.
“I think everybody should have health care, so as a company, we’ve always provided (it),” he said.“Going forward, I still want to do that. It’s just the format’s different.”
Added General Manager Marc Trudell,“The important part is to take care of the people that need it the most, and by doing it this way, I think it's what we're able to accomplish.”
But Steve Williams, a service adviser with a daughter who’s active in sports, said the switch feels like the end of an era to him.
“The days of low deductibles and all that stuff are gone,” he said.“It’s not going to get any better. It ‘s just going to get worse.”
An employer decides to f*ck his employees & its the ACA'a fault.
Either the insurance offered previously was really crap, the insurance company they have is trying to screw them, or these people are liars.
I have been on the exchanges, studied the policies offered in both the individual & "Shop" portions as well have received offers both personally & for my business from private insurers.
You people are just plain full of sh*t.