Small Business Owners, Rep. Guthrie Discuss ACA Changes

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Kentucky Rep. Brett Guthrie met with several small business owners about a lingering issue on their minds: the Affordable Care Act.

Next year, the ACA definition of a small business will change, impacting insurance rates.

Business is growing at Unique Granite and Marble in Owensboro.

“We’ve been continuing to grow every year, and expect to grow over the next few years,” says Rick Thomas of Unique, who adds concerns over how the Affordable Care Act affect his employees health care are also growing.

“It is getting difficult,” he says. “The regulations seem to be changing all the time too. When you think you’ve got a handle on it, you wait a few months and look and something seems to be different, or you learn something you didn’t know before.”

Small business, as defined by the ACA, will be different starting next year  classifying companies with more than 50, but fewer than a hundred workers as large businesses. Unique has more than 50 now. Congressman Guthrie says it means businesses like unique can’t keep their current health care plans.

“The rates were a little higher than what I expected,” Thomas says when looking at other health care plans for his company. “We just have to figure out what to do with our budget, or figure how to make things work.”

“The question is do the small businesses provide health insurance as they’re doing, or do they not do it and put their employees on the exchange?” asks Guthrie.

He says the Protecting Affordable Coverage For Employees Act will delay the re-classification, letting affected companies keep their current plans and keep costs the same.

“It seems like it makes sense. A lot of it does. We can use all the help we can get,” says Thomas.

Guthrie says hearings on the act are scheduled for this fall.  

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