Small Business Owners Face Tough Decisions

Updated: Saturday, September 28 2013, 04:08 PM CDT
Small Business Owners Face Tough Decisions story image
By: Grace White
Follow Grace on Twitter @Grace__White & on Facebook

More employees getting health insurance.

That's the idea behind the new healthcare coverage that you can start signing up for next week.

It's forcing local small business owners to make tough decisions.

Abigail Figueroa starts her day by visiting clients.

She owns home helpers of San Antonio.

"We can do everything from helping them bathe, take medicines, we can cook for them," said Figueroa.

After working in healthcare in the Air Force and Navy for 23 years, she's always dreamed of expanding her business beyond it's 11 employees.

Now that the Affordable Care Act requires companies with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance, she's hesitant.

"I do have to be very careful how I do pass on those costs, so it won't negatively affect all my clients," she said.

"They view it as a cost, a cost they have not paid in the past and don't want to have to start paying now," said Dana Forgione, a professor at U.T.S.A.

Forgione says research shows business owners will go to great lengths to avoid paying for health insurance, even dividing the company in two.

"We have seen some evidence of employers reducing hours to below 30 hours a week and that impacts the employees," said Forgione.

There is an advantage for small business owners who choose to offer health insurance to their employees.

They could be eligible for tax credits.

That's only for businesses with fewer than 25 employees, making an average of $50,000 dollars a year or less.

The tax credit is big, up to 50% of the company's contribution to the employee's premium, but only for companies who buy insurance through the government's marketplace.

"You need to help us, you can make change, you can provide but you can't penalize us at the same time," said Figueroa.

The penalties can be up to $3,000 dollars a year per employee for companies who don't comply.

"It's painful," said Figueroa.

She says it's the new reality business owners like her are facing.

Next Monday, join us for a 30 minute special called "Insuring Texas' Future" on News 4 San Antonio at 6:30 p.m.
Small Business Owners Face Tough Decisions
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October 1, 2013

1. Additional Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

2. Under the new law, states will receive two more years of funding to continue coverage for children not eligible for Medicaid.


January 1, 2014

1. The Health Insurance Marketplace is established

2. You must buy coverage or pay a fee to offset costs of caring for uninsured Americans.

3. Medicaid program expands. Federal government to pay 100% of costs for first three years.

4. Tax credits given to people who can't afford care.

5. Ensures coverage for individuals participating in clinical trials

6. Annual limits on insurance coverage eliminated.

7. No discrimination due to pre-existing condition or gender

8. Small business health insurance tax credit increases

Read more at: http://HealthCare.gov



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