Small businesses concerned about effects of health care act
While Christensen and others may have found relief in the education they received in the conference workshops, not everyone is excited about the potential impacts of the new health care law.
Eric Sessions, co-owner of Intelitechs, an information technology consulting firm based in Woods Cross, said his small firm of five people — all under age 31 — can expect to see their insurance premiums increase drastically when the plan is fully implemented.
“Right now, (we see) about a 5 percent to 8 percent increase in our health insurance plan from last year to this year,” Sessions said. “Next year, it’s my understanding that there is going to be a 100 percent to 400 percent increase.”
The hike is a result of the changes in the way premiums will be set under the ACA, where younger, healthier, insured individuals are asked to pay more to offset the relatively lower rates charged to older individuals who would typically pay higher premiums and use more services.
“We’re a young company, and that’s why we stand to see the majority of the increase,” Sessions said. “For a small business to absorb all that additional expense is a big pill to swallow.”
He said the company might have to consider utilizing the Avenue H health exchange as an alternative to providing coverage to its employees as a way to decrease costs.
Aaron Call, vice president of Utah operations for G&A Partners, a human resource outsourcing and administrative services provider, said many companies may resort to using outside administrators to mitigate the expense and compliance aspects of health care coverage under the ACA, which will begin taking effect as early as 2014.
“Because there is still so much about the law that is unknown it’s an unnerving thing (for employers),” Call said.
He said employers should work at developing a strategy that will help their companies make it through the initial implementation process with the understanding that some parts of the plan will likely change as lawmakers observe the impact the new law is having on the nation.
“It’s a very delicate balance that these employers are trying to figure out,” Call said. “They’ve got to pick a strategy that works from a people perspective and from a budget perspective.”