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Local Impact of Affordable Care Act

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email
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Update: 10/1/13

It’s affecting businesses on both sides of the river and now everyone is just hoping they can (literally) afford what's next with ObamaCare.

“The Affordable Care Act is a bit of a misnomer,” says Mark Schwendeman, president of the Schwendeman Agency in Marietta. “It’s really not affordable for a lot of employers."

Be prepared for significant rate increases.

"For smaller employers, which obviously has an adverse effect on their business, with higher out-of-pocket costs associated with their healthcare premiums,” Schwendeman says.

Penalties can take a toll.

"Each year it goes up, it starts off at one percent, then two, then two and a half,” says Nicole O’Dell, human resources manager at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg. “Percentages go up, the dollar signs go up as well, so kind of a scary thing for some of our employees."

Confusion seems to be the common thread among many employers.

"I’m not sure how it will affect us, we are a staff under 10; so I have to think that will keep us out of some of the conversation,” says Teri Ann Pfeffer, president/owner of Teri Ann's in Marietta. But it's of grave concern to all of us.”

The Blennerhassett is taking a wait and see approach.

"There's still a lot that's unknown, so we're just kind of hanging tight to see what's gonna happen. Right now I think we're the only hotel in the area that currently offers our employees health insurance, so we really hope that things go the way that we can still keep that commitment,” O’Dell says.

A recent poll reveals half the American public thought ObamaCare was repealed.

"So with that type of thought process going on there's a lot of education and communication that needs to be done,” Schwendeman says. “People need to be aware, employers need to be aware and keep an eye on this -- as it is a moving target going forward."

Both in Ohio and West Virginia, expect average rate increases for small employers in 2014 to be anywhere from 20 to 80 percent.

For more information that all employers can use, go to healthcare.gov.
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The Affordable Care Act has a significant effect on their business and now the Schwendeman Agency in Marietta is trying to sift through all the confusion.

President Mark Schwendeman says they work with about 300 employers on their benefits and a lot of people just don't understand what's really going on with healthcare reform.

Penalties will potentially kick in for certain large employers and small employers will deal with other issues.

"What we're going to see in Ohio and West Virginia what we believe is some significant rate increases for smaller employers, which obviously has an adverse effect on their business, with higher out-of-pocket costs associated with their healthcare premiums," Schwendeman says.

According to Schwendeman, the Affordable Care Act is really a misnomer - he feels it's not affordable for a lot of employers.

He says on both sides of the river they expect average rate increases for small employers in 2014 to be anywhere from 20 to 80 percent.


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