Most U.S. citizens will need to sign up for healthcare by 2014. Businesses with 50 or more full-time employees will need to provide heathcare for those employees or face a penalty by 2015.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) wanted to learn what impact the Affordable Care Act (PDF), a.k.a. Obamacare, would have on costs associated with that insurance. The answer, according to a survey conducted by the NFIB this summer, is none at all so far.
The survey (PDF) included a total of 921 small businesses around the country with between 2 and 200 employees, NFIB officials said. The NFIB says 64 percent of these businesses paid more in premiums per employee this year than in 2012.
The survey is part of a three year study intended to map the impact of the Affordable Care Act on small businesses. Commenting in an official release, NFIB Research Foundation senior fellow and study author William J. Dennis explained:
The law’s authors were primarily focused on increasing insurance coverage and expanding benefits—they gave little or no consideration to concerns about cost or who would foot the bill. Ironically, had they instead made reducing costs a priority, this would have been a natural incentive for increasing coverage.
The NFIB has advocated a delay in the individual mandate of the law for at least a year. The organization also seeks relief on what it says are the more onerous aspects of the employer mandate set to go into effect in 2015.
For example, Dennis estimates about 150,000 small businesses in the U.S. will be impacted by the so-called aggregation aspect of the employer mandate.
Dennis says federal officials can count all the employees in multiple businesses operated by a single owner when determining whether that owner falls under the mandate.
The NFIB also wants to see the definition of a full-time employee in the law changed. The law currently defines a full-time employee as one who works 30 hours a week instead of the 40 hour a week definition they say has been the standard in most industries.