One of the biggest headline grabbing problems for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the past few weeks is the fact that millions of Americans have had their health insurance plans canceled because they did not meet certain requirements set forth by the law. That has led to a lot of confusion and anger for consumers, but it seems that a large number of the nation's small businesses may now find themselves in similar situations.
Along with the millions of cancelation notices sent to individuals, independent companies that were paying for low-cost coverage for their employees have likewise been notified that those plans will no longer be in place at the start of the new year, according to a report from The Washington Post. As such, this could leave many small business owners and workers alike across the country in the lurch when it comes to being able to find coverage that fits their needs , at the affordable costs to which they have grown accustomed.
As a means of meeting the ACA's standards, many insurers have altered policies to have at least the minimum mandates, but some companies may feel such coverage options cover more than their unique needs, the report said. Moreover, those additional benefits will increase the price owners pay, and potentially by a large amount. Many of these plans may also pass on higher out-of-pocket costs to employees, making them more difficult to afford all the way around.
Several independent owners from across the country recently testified before the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee about the hardships these requirements have caused them, and many have seen coverage costs per worker go up by potentially thousands of dollars, the report said. That issue could be extremely problematic for small businesses in particular, given how many of them operate on relatively thin margins and therefore find any such increase to be extremely harmful to their financial security overall.
For this reason, it might behoove health insurance issuers that offer small business coverage to try to become a little more flexible in the options they offer to these enterprises while still keeping to the minimum coverage requirements. Those that can offer the lowest-cost coverage for employers and workers alike may receive greater interest as the coverage mandate of the new health care law goes into place at the start of 2015.