Business owners raise concerns about Affordable Care Act - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Business owners raise concerns about Affordable Care Act

Business owners raise concerns and ask questions. Business owners raise concerns and ask questions.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - We've heard a lot about how the Affordable Care Act is impacting people, but what about how it's impacting businesses? Several local businesses owners are concerned about the changes the new law brings.

Wednesday, the Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce hosted a seminar allowing business owners to share concerns and ask questions about the new law.

One of the biggest fears mentioned was that the new law will cause their company insurance costs to go up.

Jim Williams with Woodbury and Co. says that fear could likely become a reality.

"We are seeing prices go up anywhere from 15 to 20 percent to 100 percent it just depends on their individual group," explained Williams. He says the new law requires more coverage, forcing plans to include things like maternity benefits, unlimited mental health and substance abuse benefits.  Williams says since companies have to cover more benefits it could cost more money for them and their employees.

By January 1, 2015 all companies that have more than 50 employees will be required to offer health care plans that follow the federal mandates, if they don't they will have to pay a fine. Companies with less than 50 employees are exempt.

One Human Resource director, who works at a company with 40 employees, says it will make her company think twice before expanding.

"As far as going over 50, it's a concern for us because we know there will be more compliance and greater regulations that we will have to deal with and higher costs for us - so it's a concern," said Sharon Hovanski.

She says their insurance plan has been a draw for new employees, and worries since employees will be able to sign up for insurance on their own, it may no longer function as a benefit in the same way.

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