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Business Leaders Adapt to Obamacare by the Thousands

Despite its highly publicized rocky start, the Affordable Care Act gained some traction over the last couple of months as it enrolled a total of more than 8 million Americans. But it’s still a very dicey proposition for the thousands of corporate CEOs and owners of SME businesses across the country that are still anticipating, calibrating, leveraging and countering its effects.

Big-company CEOs such as GE’s Jeffrey Immelt are attempting to get their arms around the general economic anxiety that might be generated by the advance of Obamacare, as well as how changes in the health-care sector will specifically affect their companies. “Hospitals and clinics appear to be delaying purchases in response to the Affordable Care Act,” he said at GE’s annual meeting last month. Medical equipment such as MRI machines are a huge vertical for the company.

Meanwhile, a whopping 90 percent of mid-market executives named health-care costs as their top challenge in a new report by the National Center for the Middle Market at Ohio State University, according to Chief Executive.

Specifically, owners and chiefs in businesses with a significant amount of low-wage and seasonal workers are still trying to figure out how to address the penalties and incentives in the Affordable Care Act which amount to prods to get their companies to offer sponsored health coverage. Instead, many are reducing these employees’ hours under 30 per week to eliminate the problem.

Sodexo USA, for instance, is eliminating access to health insurance and other benefits for about 10,000 of their 125,000 U.S. workers because of Obamacare.

Many small businesses got a reprieve from the Affordable Care Act until next year or later, but many mid-market firms are already moving toward the realities that are going to come at some point, including opting out of providing the required coverage and preparing to pay federal penalties. Others, The Wall Street Journal said, are restructuring their businesses, reducing their employees’ hours or trimming their total headcounts to fewer than 50 full-time workers to fall below Obamacare’s radar.

Additional reading:

Odd-Hour Workers Face Loss of Employer Health Plans

The Healthcare Dilemma: Foodservice operators struggle with new healthcare legislation.

Will Obamacare help or hurt your business?

About Dale Buss

Dale Buss
Dale Buss is a long-time contributor to Chief Executive, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and other top-flight business publications. He lives in Michigan.