The only way small businesses will be able to get a small business tax credit for providing insurance is by participating in the SHOP exchange. If the business participates, the tax credit will last two years, Yolish explained.
Chuck and Brenda are among the 36.5 percent of small businesses in Iowa that offer their employees health insurance, which grants them the small business tax credit. Their nine full-time employees take advantage of the benefit and the couple would like to continue providing it as well as receiving their small business tax credit, but they fear the impersonal nature that will come with the SHOP exchange being handled online.
“I don’t want to sit in front of the computer getting health insurance,” Brenda said. “I want to be able to walk down the street and talk to someone.”
The Thorntons aren’t the only ones with concerns about the legislation.
Chamber President and CEO Nathan Sondgeroth said the frustration that he hears from Chamber members is rooted in the uncertainty surrounding the legislation and looming mandates, many of which are set to state in January.
“People are anxious. They are anxious about what it will actually mean,” Sondgeroth said. “Even the terms that are used. We can hear these terms, but what do they mean? There’s also anxiety about the uncertainty at the government level.”
Michelle Griffin, who handles HR and insurance for The Arch in Clinton doesn’t know how her non-profit organization’s 33 employees, including 13 full-time, will be affected or who to turn to for clarification.
“I’m concerned with the cost and how that’s going to affect our employees in an industry that doesn’t pay much,” Griffin said.
The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance or face penalties, which means employees will have to seek out their own insurance if they are not covered by their employers.