Business Finance

6 years ago today, Obamacare (ACA) was signed into law

Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) was signed into law six years ago, and we learn from entrepreneurs how they’re doing when it comes to the topic.

Today marks the six year anniversary

On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. We commonly know this provision as the ACA or Obamacare. Although the ACA is not without controversy six years later, there’s no denying that it hasn’t helped millions of Americans get health insurance, which has ultimately helped them be healthier.

Businesses which employ 50 or people must provide health insurance to their employees or they face a tax penalty. Smaller businesses do not have to provide insurance, but there are many benefits if they do. The SBA has an entire section of their website dedicated to information about the ACA for smaller businesses, with webinars in both English and Spanish.

Taking care of business

Rhett Orr, Director of Accounting with Onnit Labs in Austin, found himself thrown into the role of ACA Compliance Officer for a staff of about 125. He found Zenefits, an online application which used their payroll information to help Onnit get on board with providing health insurance. According to Orr, providing health insurance for their employees improved morale and reduced turnover. Onnit has a great benefits package to keep their staff healthy. Along with competitive premiums, they cover part of the cost of massages and healthy food in the office. The employees also have access to a gym.

Businesses with fewer employees

At The Artichoke in Langley, OK, there are only around 10 employees, but owner Jim Sellers, chooses to provide health insurance for those who are full-time. This is something he has done for a much longer time than when the ACA went into effect. He says that it helps with employee retention. Much of the information he gets about the ACA is not from the SBA, but from the National Restaurant Association and the Oklahoma Restaurant Association. Sellers may not have a huge staff, but he understands that it’s in his best interest to get the talent he needs to provide health insurance.

Take care of the human resources in your organization

If your small business hasn’t gotten on board by providing health insurance to your staff, it may be time to reconsider. It’s not about the tax benefits, although that does help. It’s about productivity and morale. Healthy employees are more productive and more loyal to their place of employment.


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