Small business owners learn about the Affordable Care Act


WPSD Reporters

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Starting January 1 of next year, every American will be forced to comply with the Affordable Health Care Act.

Whether you are a supporter or not, it is important that you know how it will affect you, especially if you are a small business owner.

Thursday, the Murphysboro and Carbondale Chamber of Commerce teamed up to host a seminar at the Dunn Richmond Center.

It was open to anyone who was interested to learn what Obamacare will mean to them and their livelihood.

Kenny Lingg is a mechanic at Bost Truck Service in Murphysboro. He has been with the company for eight years.

The fact that he is offered health insurance is one of the reasons he has stuck around.

"I pay out of pocket for my wife right now and it's really expensive, so I don't know if I could afford it on my own," said Lingg.

Co-owner of the shop, Dan Bost, says his insurance premiums have steadily risen in the last three years.

"To manage that expense, we've increased the deductible to $500-$1,000, to $2,500, now we have it at a $5,000 deductible," said Bost.

He says something has to change or he will not be able to offer his employees insurance.

"We can't afford to pay the levels we are and continue to pay a portion of the health insurance, so there has to be some type of trade-off," said Bost.

Bost attended Thursday's meeting, but he admits that he is not quite sold on the idea of Obamacare.

Affordable Care Act expert, Brian Gorman, says the new law of the land will be just the thing that Bost needs to keep his employees insured.

Gorman says if you have more than 12 employees you can receive up to 35% in the form of tax credits for the premiums you provide your employers.

And Gorman says the perks keep coming for small business owners like Bost.

"If one of the small business owner's employees unfortunately gets diagnosed with leukemia, or some other terminal illness, it won't affect the premiums of everybody within that plan," said Gorman.

Gorman says at the core of the Affordable Care Act is this simple principle.

"The idea is that folks should never ever go bankrupt because they get sick," said Gorman.

His hope is that small business owners learn to embrace the ACA, because he believes it can only benefit those who own small businesses.

The Affordable Care Act will impact each business differently, depending on the type and number of employees.

Gorman says it would be in a business owners' best interest to speak with their insurance provider about the changes they will notice before the first of the year.