Most of the provisions that directly affect businesses go into effect in 2014. The provision that most directly affects businesses is that they will pay a “tax” if they employ more than 50 full-time employees and don’t provide health insurance to all of their employees. This provision will encourage businesses to employ less than 50 people if they do not want to provide “acceptable” health insurance to their employees. Since health insurance premium support is a fixed cost per employee, this provision will tend to affect low-wage employers like retail stores and restaurants more than other types of employers.
This provision will probably provide great work for lawyers and accountants in 2013 as they legally divide bigger companies into multiple smaller companies.
Since the provision will only affect direct employees of the business, it will also encourage employers, especially large employers, to rely more on “temporary” employment agency employees and other contingent workers. Lower-wage employees, who previously may have been uninsured employees of businesses, may soon find themselves as uninsured employees working through temporary help agencies without any employment benefits at all.
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