Reposted from Daily Kos 16 February 2014 – go there to read the excellent discussion thread
For progressives it is no new story that astonishingly malnourished messaging by the Obama administration compounded by egregiously misrepresentative coverage by the mainstream media has allowed an unending flow of air to feed the anti-ACA (Obamacare) gluttons. Personal, anecdotal stories, many against and a few supporting the ACA have been around for months. What has been lacking are the “it worked for my small business” stories so I thought I would throw this onto the table for general consumption.
I own a small manufacturing business and we have always provided health insurance to our employees. This has come at great expense to our firm as the cost of our policy increased by double-digit percentages every year. In recent years, much to our shame, we could no longer survive the full cost of the insurance so we had to pass twenty percent on to all participating employees. That percentage was, in turn, enough to cause several employees to have to drop coverage entirely. We were horrified and crushed but no amount of shopping around seemed to get us close enough to be able to overcome the huge mountain of cost. Ultimately, we ended up covering seven employees for a cost of, brace yourselves, $6570.58 per month!!! Please forgive me my scoff when I hear people complain about the high cost of their coverage under the ACA. Quality insurance has, for many years, cost an obscene amount and anyone who doesn’t know that wasn’t really paying attention to all the details.
So, what have we done under the ACA?
Well, we dropped our former policy, the group coverage, for our employees…and they are thrilled.
Our former policy was equivalent to a silver plan plan under the ACA Marketplace so we asked each of our employees to go on-line into the Marketplace and find the cost of their individual silver plan options. We asked them to print out that section (which contains no actual, private, information). We calculated the median cost of a silver level plan for that person. Each employee now receives, on their paycheck, a line item called “Recommended Health Insurance Bonus” which constitutes one hundred percent of the median silver plan cost, as described above, plus the extra needed to allow for the tax hit so that each employee truly nets out the necessary amount for the insurance.
Every employee can now elect, of their own free will, to purchase insurance (or not) and at what “metal level”, utilizing the new bonus in the manner they feel is best suited for them.
Several things are notable about this.
1. We are now able to provide for 100% of the cost of insurance as opposed to eighty percent.
2. Because of where we are located, almost all the local providers of medical services are participating in plans offered through the ACA Marketplace so none of our employees experienced having to change doctors. (We were sure to check this prior to making the shift.)
3. The employees who were participating in the old policy and paying the 20% cost, no longer pay that deduction so they all received a net take-home raise (which several used to purchase gold level plans which are STILL much less expensive than what they were paying previously.)
AND NOW FOR THE BIG FINISH…
Before the ACA we were covering seven employees at a cost of $6570.58 per month. Now we are providing for the coverage of eleven employees at a cost of $1863.76 per month. This is a savings of $56,481.84 per year!!!
…which we are using to hire a new employee and purchase some, much needed, new tooling.
The ACA is a boon for small business and we, for one, are using it to grow. There’s the small business messaging that is missing from, well, everywhere. Spread the word.