(12/05/12) - Beginning in January, the next step of rolling out the Affordable Care Act goes into affect.
So how might the healthcare law change your benefits, and what does this mean for local businesses and individuals?
"Our bigger concern is when Obamacare hits full stride. That's going to severely impact decisions we are going to make," said Mark Krueger, E & L Construction CEO.
That's why Krueger is preparing now.
"Next year a lot of it is in more of the reporting and administration side of it, then it is financial," he said. "The year after that, which could be the tail end of the next year, is where the real impact hits our company."
Under the federal health care plan, the benefits Krueger offers his employees are defined as a "Cadillac" plan.
"Because it's a Cadillac plan, it's tax at 40 percent on top of the premiums we already pay for our employees. I don't know if we can sustain a 40 percent increase in premiums," he said.
Beginning Jan.1, flexible spending accounts will be capped at $2,500 per employee and the medical expense deduction limit will go up from 7.5 percent to 10 percent.
"So it's going to be much harder to write off medical expenses," said Stacy Forsberg, an independent health insurance agent in Genesee County. "It's a work in progress just like it has been every time because there's so many gray areas that need to be defined."
Forsberg says the affordable care act calls for more employer accountability.
"Employers are responsible for making sure the summary benefit of coverage, that they received it from the carrier and to get it to every single employee," she said.
Meanwhile, Krueger awaits to find out if his construction trade union will be exempt from Obamacare. If that doesn't happen, he doesn't know if he can afford to continue to offer the benefits he does today.
"I like to take care of our employees, it's a benefit I know they value and we value giving it to them, but if I'm taxed out of it, I don't have much twice," he said. "We will still have a benefit, but I don't know if we can afford 40 percent more. I'd rather give that money to them than pay it out to the government."
ABC12 Main Station