The one thing most entrepreneurs can agree they want from their government is to support their risk-taking rather than put up roadblocks. The current Obamacare fight puts business owners in a tough spot.
The ACA enrollment season just ended on Friday, and entrepreneurs must make decisions about health care for themselves and their employees in an atmosphere of uncertainty and with mainstays of Obamacare under continued threat. The tax reform plan still being finalized by Congress is expected to include a repeal of the ACA's individual mandate.
"We talk about the entrepreneurial spirit and formation of new businesses being at the core of our resilience and strength as an economy," said Dave Yeske, CFP, managing director of Yeske Buie. "That entails people being unconstrained by other considerations, like not being able to give up their big-company health coverage."
President Donald Trump already cut off cost-sharing reduction payments that help offset out-of-pocket health insurance costs, such as co-payments and deductibles, for low-income Americans covered under the ACA. He also slashed the advertising and support budget for the ACA open-enrollment season by 90 percent, which health-care experts say could result in a lower enrollment total than last year and serve as another trigger for higher premiums.
Recent weekly enrollment numbers have been down from last year, and even though there was a surge as the deadline approached this week, many experts expect the final enrollment figure for 2017 to fall short of last year's pace.
Even before these direct hits on the ACA, premiums were expected to rise in many states. Insurers that went ahead and factored a potential cost-sharing reduction halt, or repeal of the ACA's individual mandate, into their summer requests to states for premium increases projected spikes of above 40 percent. Insurers in Idaho, Maryland, New Mexico, Tennessee and Virginia cited the CSR or other anti-ACA moves for between 10 percent and 20 percent of their anticipated higher plan premiums.