Small Businesses Face Tough Healthcare Challenge in 2013

Does the Affordable Care Act help or hurt small businesses in the short term?

Graph: Kaiser Family Foundation 2011 analysis of the Survey of Income and Program Participation.

The Affordable Care Act is a primary point of contention in this year’s presidential election, with the candidates’ emphasis being placed on how employees will access health care for themselves and their families – especially those working for smaller enterprises.

But there’s a forgotten audience that may feel a larger impact from the legislation.

Almost one in four small business employers who own companies with fewer than 25 employees do not own health care at all for themselves, according to a report released by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Those that do not have health care coverage face penalties once the ACA takes effect in January 2013.

It will also have an impact on private insurance companies. The report notes that 60 percent of small firm employees receive health care from their employer.

Of the employers surveyed, 21 percent rely on job-based insurance from family members, while 30 percent pay for private insurance. This information sheds light on the largely ignored stake-holders in the battle for health insurance equity.

The good news is that the ACA makes provisions for the small firm owners in the form of either tax credits for those who are well above the poverty line, or subsidized coverage for those who remain uninsured.

Read the entire report here.

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