Health Care Under ACA Is Not Better, According To Small Business Owners

Fifty-one percent of independent business owners recently surveyed reported that their companies’ health care is neither better nor more affordable under health care reform. Not only that, but, now that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been implemented, 34 percent of those surveyed said they are unsatisfied with their current health care, and 21 percent are unsure.

Barry Sloane, president and CEO of The Small Business Authority, which released the results of the SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey, blames some of the negative sentiment on the part of small business owners on, “the reality of higher premiums, fewer choices of doctors, and confusion by exchanges,” and also pointed out that some aspects of the ACA have not been implemented yet for small businesses. The poll also revealed that 50 percent of business owners feel they have not and 19 percent feel they have received better, more affordable care under the ACA.

It is possible, of course, that once federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchanges start allowing employers to choose more than one plan at a particular metal level (bronze, silver, gold, or platinum) in 2015, small employers might have more positive experiences. Unfortunately, 18 states with federal exchanges have recently been allowed by the CMS to opt out of offering employee choice for their SHOP exchanges for 2015. States that do plan to offer employee choice through their SHOP exchanges are Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Sloane added that, “In the near term, the promise of more affordable care from the ACA has not yet materialized. Hopefully the government and the health insurance providers will take the necessary steps to decrease healthcare costs, increase choice and improve services to independent business owners and their employees.”

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