The News-Press hosted a panel Tuesday with industry experts who talked to small business owners about how the Affordable Care Act is going to affect them.
Even though looming penalties against businesses that don’t comply with the health care law have been delayed another year, insurance and benefits experts are telling business owners to get ready.
A panel of experts told a large room of small business owners to get some outside help when making changes to their health plans to prepare for parts of the Affordable Care Act.
Althea Harris with the U-S Small Business Administration said the law means different things for each employer.
“Having a professional help them navigate and find out the best solution for them is going to be critical,” she said.
Harris said a lot of groups and business have already been reaching out asking for more information.
“We are hearing from small businesses – and not only small businesses, but organizations that support small businesses, like chambers of commerce—to have forums on the Affordable Care Act,” she said.
Harris said employers can visit www.sba.gov/healthcare for more information about the health law and how it would affect small businesses.
Patricia Wright owns a small insurance company. Most of her clients are also small business owners. She said the health care law has many of her clients concerned about rising insurance costs as well as properly complying with the law. Wright said she’s also worried.
“You know, as a small business owner, you have to look at what portion of your budget are your health care dollars,” she said. “So, what does it cost to provide health insurance if you have employees that you want to provide benefits to them. Can you do that? Can you afford to do that?”
Penalties against businesses that don’t follow provisions in the new health care law won’t go into effect until 2015.