Are small companies set for Obamacare?

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: July 19, 2013 1:44 pm ET
Updated: July 19, 2013 2:12 pm ET

Image By: Rich Williams

Related to this story

Topics Government & Legislation Workforce
Companies & Associations

After a brief, unscientific survey, it seems the U.S. plastics industry is a pretty good place to be working right now, at least from a health-care benefit standpoint.

Just as most of the country was tuning out of work for Independence Day celebrations, the White House announced it will delay enforcing a key provision of its signature health-care law by one year. The decision gives business owners until 2015 to provide health insurance.

Under President Barack Obama's signature 2010 law, companies with 50 or more full-time workers — as determined not by actual numbers but by a complex formula — face a fine of as much as $3,000 per employee if they don't offer affordable insurance.

Immediately I was on the hunt for a relieved plastics processor just above the 50-employee threshold who was looking forward to a few more months of procrastination or a brief reprieve from a painful benefits change.

After all, business leaders from various other sectors, particularly the restaurant industry, had been pleading with the Obama administration to delay or even cancel the mandate.

But the plastics executives I called said they were moving ahead with changes to their benefit structure. Many won't even be affected by the provision, since they already offer insurance and have no plans to drop the coverage.

Some small firms already are self-insured, like rotomolder R&R Technologies in Edinburgh, Ind., and its staff of about 50. Blow molder ProGram Plastics Inc. in Geneva, Ohio, already offers insurance for its fewer than 50 full-time employees.

More than 96 percent of U.S. firms with at least 50 employees already offer health insurance, the White House says.

At Aimet Technologies Inc. in Zebulon, N.C., comptroller Debra Clark said the injection molder renews its health insurance policies in July, so the announcement to delay the new law came just a few weeks too late to matter.

"We already took care of it, not knowing that we had some more time," she said. "But we pretty much were in compliance already." Aimet tweaked its plan to make it more affordable and added a "buy-up" plan for those who want more robust coverage. "We've managed to keep costs pretty much the same all around," Clark said. "I know we won't face any penalties and that was my main concern."

So despite dire warnings from some pundits, many plastics companies seem to be ahead of the game.

Putrich is Plastics News' Washington-based staff reporter.


Comments

Are small companies set for Obamacare?

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: July 19, 2013 1:44 pm ET
Updated: July 19, 2013 2:12 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events