TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Just when they thought things couldn't get any worse, strapped small business CEOs are in for a new required expensive monthly bill: Paying for employee health insurance to comply with the required Affordable Care Act (dubbed Obamacare) policies set to take hold by January 1, 2014.
Companies with 50 or more full-time employees have several options: 1.) reduce full-time hours to become part-time employees, 2.) reduce staff by lay-offs or terminations, 3.) downgrade current insurance, 4.) pay the penalties, 5.) buck up and pay for the insurance. "The latter is a large expense, especially for many small business owners just trying to keep the doors open in this economy," says Rodger Garner, General Manager for Source Group Professionals, Inc., a staffing company in Tucson, AZ.
Pricey doesn't even begin to describe what insuring just 50 workers would cost. Using the Society for Human Resource Management's numbers, insuring all 50 workers would cost the company $526,100 per year, a prohibitive number for most small businesses.
"CEOs aren't against the idea of insuring their employees, but the mandate, especially right now," says Garner, "is just not economically feasible for most small employers."
What is a small business owner to do? One option is to hire a professional employer organization, which usually requires transferring all employees to them to even qualify. Many business owners either are not comfortable with this, or don't understand it.
Another solution is to allow the owner to transfer only a small percentage of his workforce to a staffing agency that would insure the employees and handle benefits. These could be key-management employees or whoever may be eligible for additional benefits. This is an option offered by Source Group Professionals, Inc.
"As a professional staffing company, we've had a boost of interest in this option for small businesses who want to retain the bulk of their employees, while still conforming to the health care law," says Garner. "Our business is working with those owners who are just large enough to be affected by the law, without having to reduce staff or cut hours."