Thursday, August 2, 2012

How will new healthcare law affect employment?

Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (AAC), employers are taking a more careful look at the details, according to today's WSJ.  Here are some examples of the decisions employers are facing:
  • A Quiznos franchisee in Virginia Beach has two locations with 36 employees.  At 50 employees he must provide health insurance or pay a fine.  He once was hoping to triple the size of his operation, but now is not so sure.  It will no doubt depend on how the final regulations define the size of an enterprise, whether by location or by ownership.  
  • A Dunkin' Donuts franchise with 10 locations in New Hampshire provides health insurance but his policies do not provide enough coverage to meet AAC standards.  His choice: pay higher premiums or dump the coverage and pay the fine.  
  • AAC kicks in for employees working 30 or more hours.  Watch out for a surge in the number of employees capped at 29 hours. 
This is all basic microeconomics: when the price of something rises, people seek substitutes.   

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