By Erik Neilson  Updated on Fri Mar 14, 2014

Higher Health Insurance Premiums for Employees a Rising Issue

 
Higher Health Insurance Premiums for Employees a Rising Issue

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Those who have paid even the slight amount of attention to the ways in which ObamaCare has unfolded since its inception know that there have been a host of issues. Signing up for coverage was difficult enough when the healthcare reform’s website first launched, and there’s no getting around the fact that the reform itself was quite controversial and served to divide American opinions. The latest news, however, is perhaps the most sobering, as many Americans may now need to pay higher premiums than they’re used to paying on their employer’s plan.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released a report which states that as many as two-thirds of American small business employees, approximately 11 million individuals, can expect to pay higher premiums under ObamaCare than they once did under their employer’s private insurance plan. While 35 percent of small businesses are likely to actually pay lower premiums than they’re used to, this still leaves the remaining 65 percent with problems that could end up making life exponentially more difficult for a great number of Americans.

No Surprises

The news of higher health insurance premiums may be shocking to many, but that’s not to say it is a surprise overall. Ever since the inception of the program, small business owners have had conflicting opinions about what ObamaCare would actually do to premiums. Many were already quite pleased with the insurance plans they had, for example, and expected to see an increase once things changed. The National Small Business Administration released a survey not long ago, which showed that over 90 percent of small businesses polled expected to see a rise in their insurance costs. Such a result goes to show that the American business community is not exactly on the side of ObamaCare. Some may be getting a break on costs, but they rank as being only one-third of small businesses as a whole.

More Difficulty for Small Business Employees

It’s clear to most people why paying higher premiums might be a problem for many employees of small businesses, although there are factors that are often overlooked, which point to an even more difficult future for workers than what they have experienced in recent years. Hiring is down, for example, which means many employees are stuck working at their current jobs and are unable to advance in their careers. Add to this the fact that businesses still have a long way to go in terms of offering fair rates of pay, and the extra costs associated with higher insurance premiums are clearly more debilitating than most people realize at first.

While higher costs can be a tough pill to swallow for employees, it’s the job market as a whole that could see even more negative effects from the issue at hand. Given the added costs, it would be fair to assume that businesses won’t be able to afford to employ as many individuals as they may like, adding to concerns about America’s unemployment rate. Since job growth is already somewhat stagnant at the moment, it should stand to reason why this could create additional problems.

America’s workforce may be up against quite a bit with higher insurance premiums, but not everyone will be affected negatively. Take self-employed individuals, for example, who stand to actually pay far less than they have been up until now. After all, an individual insurance plan that costs up to $1,000 (or even more) makes paying between $300 and $500 look like a walk in the park. Even so, not all self-employed individuals will benefit from the reform, and some may be unable to pay for health insurance at all, given the current rates.

As ObamaCare is still in its infancy, plenty of changes could occur that would set things in a much better light for small business employees. For now, though, paying higher premiums is an unfortunate reality for many people.

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