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

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


More stories

Image

California mold maker adds new press

September 9, 2014 1:54 pm ET

M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp. of Brea, Calif., has upgraded its injection molding capability to enhance testing and sampling of customer molds prior...    More

Image

CEO likeability is an unmeasured asset

September 9, 2014 12:01 pm ET

Would you want to work for Artie T.?    More

Image

Society shift to blame for skills gap

September 9, 2014 11:15 am ET

Today, finding skilled manufacturing workers is a top concern for factories in the United States and, really, around the world. Here in the USA, it's ...    More

Frivolous lawsuits drag us down

September 9, 2014 10:00 am ET

I applaud Mr. Duffy's article in your Mailbag section (“Cease and desist progress?” March 24).    More

Market Reports

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

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events