Many Lubbock businesses were breathing a sigh of relief Wednesday morning after the announcement that the employer mandate deadline for the Affordable Care Act had been pushed back.
"They're a lot of employers that have over 50 employees that are probably breathing pretty easy today and maybe having a little party," said Sanford and Tatum insurance Agency Vice President Rhonda Thomack.
Carlos Morales, Chairman of the Board for the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce echoed her sentiments.
"We got to sleep a little better last night. With this being pushed off another year, I think it kind of takes the worry out. It provides another year of growth then better planning around what could come," he said.
Along with being Chairman of the board for the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, Morales is also the executive vice president for Caprock Home Health Services. His business was planning some serious changes if the Affordable Care Act deadline had remained the same.
"What we were looking at is having to cut hours, reduce income of our employees as well as interrupting the continuity of care for a lot of our clients. It was really a matter of survival in our industry. We had to be able to survive this, survive this change so those changes were going to have to come," he said.
These mandates have required hours of education and training in order to understand what the government expects, but businesses still have a lot of lingering questions.
"Maybe they don't offer health insurance now and have to provide it. They were going to have to provide it and make it affordable to their employees as well as provide a minimum value... So if they're not offering it at all it gives them a little bit of relief to plan," Thomack said.
"There are so many problems within the plan itself. I love the fact that other people are going to be able to obtain insurance without preexisting conditions because there are people that need that, but I also know it's going to change the price. We're going to see increases constantly."
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