The 41 employees of Extreme Dodge in Jackson, Mich., are very familiar with trade-ins, but this year they're learning about trade-offs as they come face to face with the new realities of health care. A few workers say they're getting a great deal, but most have a severe case of sticker shock.
"I feel like I've been taken to the cleaners," said Neal Campbell, a salesman.
The news was presented at the company's annual benefits meeting earlier this month, when employees were told that the health insurance plan that the auto dealership had provided its workers was canceled because it doesn't comply with the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
(Read more: Obamacare explained)
Rather than officially sponsor a new policy, the company—voted one of the 100 best car dealerships to work for in the country last year—will instead provide its employees with $2,400 apiece to buy their own insurance, or to pocket and pay the new federal penalty if they elect to go without it.
That's a little bit more than the company says it spent on health insurance this year. Dealership owner Wesley Lutz said his decision to go in a new direction was driven by the fact that health insurance is "incredibly expensive" and getting more so. He says he needs to be able to control his future costs.