Obamacare Holds Off Pressure On Small Businesses Until 2016
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) The Open Enrollment deadline for Obamacare was Monday, but in keeping with a mandate made last month, businesses with fewer than 100 employees won't be required to cover workers until 2016. Still, small business owners may act on this delay to implement further resistence
This is not the only recent change that we've seen concerning the Obamacare. If you've been keeping score at home, you'll remember that on:
March 11, 2013: The administration delayed small business coverage deadlines until 2015.
July 2, 2013: Employer reporting deadlines were delayed a year.
July 15, 2013: "the administration decided it would allow "self-attestation" of income by applicants for health insurance in the exchanges. This was later partially retracted after congressional and public outcry over the likelihood of fraud ," says the non-profit health care and tax policy research organization Galen Institute.
Oct 1, 2013: The date when the Small-Employer Health Option Program was slated to go live; it didn't. It was first delayed one month, and then one year. According to internal government memos, small businesses can expect it November 2014.
October 23, 2013: The individual mandate was postponed until March 31, 2014. People would have to comply with the ACA by this time in order to avoid penalties.
November 14, 2013: The administration announced that health plans once forced to cancel under the ACA could be re-offered.
January 18, 2014: The IRS did not enforce the employer mandate supposed to go into effect since 2010. It would have required all employees to receive equal coverage.
February 10, 2014: Small business mandate was delayed.
March 26, 2014: Individual sign-up for healthcare was delayed until mid-April for those that qualified.
And there's much more where that came from. The Galen Institute, from which much of the information above originated, counts an impressive 38 changes to the implementation of Obamacare. It stands to reason that this rollout, both hesitant and mandatory, has individual consumers and business owners frustrated.
For U.S. small businesses, which according to the government provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs, the recent changes aren't really doing much good.
Ed Haislmaier, senior research fellow in health care policy for the Heritage Foundation, says these shifts might actually have some unintended consequences: businesses avoiding Obamacare altogether.
"If you are a small business or even a larger one where your workers are lower paid, then it might not only be beneficial for you as a business, but for workers financially if [you] simply stopped providing insurance," says Haislmaier.
Having seen similar government action in Maryland in 1993, he finds there are three major ways business could do this:
1) Just pay the fine "and give the employee what was left in cash, and send them off to the exchange."