Obamacare leaves small businesses with limited options
Thu, 05 Dec 2013 03:14:12 GMT —
A day after the federal government released the revised health care website, small businesses like Noah's Ark Pet Hospital were told the website wouldn't be available until November 2014.
But for some Amarillo businesses, logging onto the website isn't the only issue. Veterinarian Merten Pearson is facing a complete change to his healthcare insurance.
"As of Jan. 1, I'll find out how much I'm going to have to pay." he said. "I mean they still haven't told me what the rates are because the insurance company they're working with hasn't been able to determine for themselves how much they're going to have to charge."
Pearson uses a professional employment organization to purchase health insurance. Two weeks ago he received a letter that said in January his business is facing anywhere from a 20-50 percent increase in health care premiums.
"The only way I can support that is charging more to the public for my services and it's all Obamacare is, a big tax thing that's going to cost you guys, me and everybody money because we have to raise our prices," Pearson said.
Director of Economics at West Texas A&M University P.J. Pronger said, the Obama policy considers a small business to have fewer than 50 employees. Pronger works with small businesses in Amarillo. He said his office is receiving calls, but it's going to take time before anyone can give any clear answers.
"I think everybody is concerned with it," Pronger said. "Just because there is so much misinformation out there and people don't know quite what to expect, and because the history of the program today is they've been told things that ended up not to be right."
For Pearson and his employees at Noah's Ark Pet Hospital, they just want clarification.
"I'm still up in the air about it, okay is it going to be 20 percent or a 50 percent increase or somewhere else in between. I just don't know," he said.