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Posts tagged: Affordable Care Act

Many firms, not just Sodexo, will adjust or eliminate health plans for workers

Today's Spokesman.com business story focused on one employer, national food service provider Sodexo, to cut medical insurance costs by redefining its full time workers.

As the story noted, this has not been a unique decision. Many companies are looking at the new Affordable Care Act as a way to cut the medical benefit while workers are shunted into new private plans.

Altogether, about 44 percent of employers  contacted during a 2013 survey said they plan to stop administering health plans for their former workers over the next two years. The survey was commissioned by Towers Watson, a consulting firm that focuses on helping companies improve performance.

Government delays health-care requirement for firms until 2015

Third in a row; another blog post on the ACA (Affordable Care Act).

Just today, the Obama administration announced it will waive all enforcements or penalties until 2015 for any company that doesn't provide health care insurance to workers.

The law's full list of provisions goes into effect Jan. 1. Tuesday's announcement means larger firms have a full year to establish compliance with the regulations the law imposes.

Passed three years ago, the law mandates large firms — those with 50 or more workers — to  provide health benefits to full-time employees or pay fines starting at $2,000 per worker.

As a WSJ.com story noted, “Many large companies already provide coverage voluntarily, but some industries, particularly restaurant and retail and other sectors with significant numbers of lower-wage workers, had criticized the additional costs.”

But, it's not clear how many businesses will be affected. One group, the Small Business Majority, estimates 96 percent of businesses in the U.S. have fewer than 50 employees.

The Treasury Department on Tuesday said the waiver will help companies work out the details of compliance.

One more ObamaCare link for business owners, from Puget Sound Biz Journal

And of course, after listing three handy sources for businesses dealing with the Affordable Care Act, it's natural that an hour later along comes another good, valuable link.

This would be the Health Care Inc. Northwest blog, managed and operated by the Puget Sound Business Journal. The blog can be accessed directly, or one can sign up and receive a newsletter summary.

The newsletter signup page is here.

Three options for business owners needing to get ready for ObamaCare

Small business owners certainly are facing a raft of complex concerns as they prepare to deal with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. This is not a simple question.

Many information sources can be found online, and there are several sites specifically tailored to guide businesses through the new legislative-regulatory maze.

One is the Health Coverage Guide, managed by Small Business Majority, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.

Probably as good a basic and advanced information source is the U.S. Department of Commerce's SBA site specifically on the health care law..

For the tablet-reader, we'll recommend this book available on Amazon, “The Busy Business Owner's Guide to Health Care Reform: What You Need to Know.”

Many of the business-related provisions of the care act go into effect later this year, and then fully on Jan. 1, 2014.

SBA launches site to help small business plug into Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act takes effect for many small businesses over the next two years.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on Monday started a website to help small businesses understand the set of choices they face.

It's www.sba.gov/healthcare.

It includes online tools to gather up information provided by agenices that will be responsible for implementing the law, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The act specifies a set of choices that affect how business owners deal with premiums and access to insurance plans.  The new site breaks down some of the act's provisions for businesses in different sizes — such as, self-employed, fewer than 25 employees, fewer than 50 employees and more than 50 employees. 

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

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