What Does The Latest News on the Affordable Healthcare Act Mean for Small Business?

November 15, 2013


One of the major pieces of legislation coming out of Washington D.C. that has the most direct impact on small businesses in the near future is the Affordable Healthcare law, also known as Obamacare. There have been several news regarding the law over the past few months but recently an interesting and quite important development occurred:

In case you missed it, President Barack Obama came out Thursday and made a late-in-the-game change to the health care reform law. He announced that insurers will be able to continue coverage next year for current policy holders that otherwise would be canceled under the new health-care law.

So what does this mean for small business owners and individuals trying to make sense of it?

Although the change allows insurance companies to continue offering those plans, it doesn’t require them to, and some may decide the costs are too high. Many invested countless hours and millions of dollars into understanding the law and preparing offerings to be compliant. That included administrative tasks like sending out cancellation notices and next-step letters to thousands of members.

“The logistics of doing what is suggested here are really, really complicated,” said Alex Tolbert, CEO of Bernard Health, a health insurance advisory firm. “I would not be surprised if some carriers say, ‘Thank you for the opportunity to recall all of the cancellation letters we sent, but we are not in the position to do so.’ ”

Tolbert advises that small businesses wait and see what action their insurance company takes.

“If I were a small business owner, I would bear in mind that this announcement, while newsworthy, does not mean that your old policy isn’t going to get canceled because the carriers might not find it possible to undo everything they’ve done,” he said. “I’d wait to see what the carriers are going to do.”

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