Small Business Owners Staying Away From ObamaCare

January 27, 2014

There may not be enough demand for ObamaCare's small business health plan to attract insurers, says BusinessWeek.

The Small Business Health Option Plan (SHOP) is an ObamaCare creation intended to insure employees of businesses that have less than 50 workers. The federal government has already had to delay the online marketplace until November 2014. Some states have launched online exchanges for SHOPs, but enrollment has been low.

  • Only 14 companies have enrolled in SHOP plans in Kentucky, and 101 companies in Colorado have joined SHOP plans, while 106 have joined in Connecticut.
  • In the state of New York, only 5,000 employees have signed up for the plans.

Many small businesses renewed their health plans at the end of 2013 to avoid higher ObamaCare premiums. Those who have looked into the SHOP plans have not been impressed. David Allen, CEO of Flatirons Practice Management, said that the SHOP plans available to him had lower premiums but too high deductibles. "It felt like the wrong thing to do, because we were shifting the burden off of me to my employees. I don't need the insurance exchange to do that for me," Allen said.

It is unclear what will happen when those who renewed their pre-ObamaCare plans have to shop for insurance next fall, as many will lose those plans under the Affordable Care Act. Democrats may have to face the issue in the 2014 midterm elections.

Source: Patrick Clark, "Why Small Business Owners Are Staying Away from ObamaCare Exchanges," BusinessWeek, January 17, 2014.

 

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