(Wheeling)….Another pitfall of Obamacare is about to become reality for a lot of small business owners and their employees, according to the President of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce.
Terry Sterling says there’s a tax on top of the premiums many people have already been quoted. The Health Insurance Tax, or HIT, could cost a family of four using the health exchange up to $500 more than what they were previously paying.
Sterling stresses this is a tax most people never heard about in the planning stages of the Affordable Care Act.
“This tax is levied on the insurance companies and it will be passed down to the individual companies, who will then, depending on the circumstances, of how employees participate, in the cost, of their insurance, they’ll have to absorb all or part of it,” explains Sterling.
He says large employers and most union negotiated health plans are exempt, from the tax. It’s small businesses who will feel the impact. It hits close to home here in West Virginia because a majority of the state’s businesses fall into that category. Sterling warns a lot of people are going to get hit hard, in the pocketbook.
When President Obama first rolled out the ACA plan, he said it would save a family, of four, about $2,500 a year, in insurance costs. Sterling claims that’s not the case. Not only is the cost of insurance more expensive through the insured marketplace, he says, deductibles are higher, you can’t always keep your doctor and, in some cases, your nearby hospital isn’t participating, in the plan.
The Wheeling Area Chamber represents more than 800 businesses, most of them small. Sterling says what he’s heard, from owners, in the past few weeks is a lot of concern about the future, of their insurance coverage.
“I think a lot of business owners are going to have to take a hard look at whether or not they want to offer insurance or not,” according to Sterling. “And what this will do, ultimately, is force a lot of people to take a look at the exchanges.”
Many are calling this hidden tax “unfair” and detrimental to small business employees who can least afford to pay more for insurance.