Small Businesses Bracing For Next Wave Of Obamacare Misery

The small business Obamacare “time bomb” is back in the news. Politico reported that many will be seeing big rate increases just in time for the 2014 mid-term elections.

Think the canceled health policies hurt the Obamacare cause? There’s another political time bomb lurking that could explode not too long before next year’s elections: rate hikes for small businesses.

Like the canceled individual health plans, it’s another example of a tradeoff that health care experts have long known about, as the new rules for health insurance prices create winners and losers. But most Americans won’t become aware of it until some small business employees learn that their premiums are going up because of a law called — oops — the Affordable Care Act.

Some will learn the opposite, that their premiums are going down because of the law. But as we saw with the canceled individual health plans, it’s the losers who will get most of the attention.

And the timing will be terrible for Democrats: A lot of those small businesses will have to start dealing with their new prices in October — just in time for Republicans to make it an issue in their mid-term election campaigns. (Read More)

The Washington Times notes that it’s harder to gauge what the impact will be on larger businesses, but estimates that these changes could effect 150 million Americans with employer-based health policies. In addition to the rate hikes, there are also new taxes that will be passed along to consumers.

Additionally, the health care overhaul includes numerous taxes and fees.

Levies include a “reinsurance fee” of $63 per employee from health insurance issuers and third-party administrators on behalf of self-insured plans. The revenue will be used to stabilize the individual market from 2014 to 2016, when sicker consumers enter risk pools under Obamacare.

Other costs include a $2-per-person tax this year through 2019 to promote medical research, and a more significant tax on health insurers — phased in by 2018 — that is imposed relative to health premiums collected that year.

“Those are also going to increase the cost of insurance for all employer plans,” because the costs are passed along to firms and their employees, said Michael F. Cannon, a health care policy director at the Cato Institute. (Read More)

Mr. LC and I purchase our health insurance through our payroll company to take advantage of the group rates they offer. We renew in the spring. This year our rate went up so much that we switched to a high deductible plan. The deductible isn’t as high as the Obamacare policies, at least not yet. We received a notice recently saying that the rates would be going up, we just don’t know by how much. Hopefully it won’t be too bad, seeing that we’re in New York where rates were already high, but we’re still dreading it.

This is going to wreak havoc on the economy. It already is, with so many people seeing their hours cut. Imagine how much worse it will be when people are spending so much more on health insurance.

But of course Obama will go out and blame it all on the insurance companies, rather than this dreadful law he inflicted on us.