The Affordable Care Act- Boom for Entrepreneurs!

The Obama administration's Affordable Care Act will for the first time make affordable healthcare available to everyone.

For Frugal Prosumers as well as most people in America, the expense of healthcare is a big issue. The Affordable Care Act will affect most Americans in some way or other. There is a lot of hype about it and there are both good and bad aspects to it. The Frugal Prosumers goal is to find the good parts and use them to reduce their expenses.

Owning ones own business is a very important tool to The Frugal Prosumer. One of the biggest things that has kept individuals from going into business themselves is not being able to afford healthcare. This is going to be a big game changer for entrepreneurs as everyone can now have health insurance.

The vast majority of small businesses employ 10 people or less. For them, Obamacare is a welcomed change because many of these owners do not have insurance. Over 80% of uninsured small business owners will qualify for subsidized coverage under Obamacare. In other words, they will gain access to affordable coverage for the first time.

  • Laws create business opportunities and whole new industries.
  • There are big differences between how Obamacare affects big, small, and micro business.
A huge roadblock to entrepreneurs is health insurance.
  • Not having health insurance will no longer be a determining factor. (In entrepreneurship, it's long been said that the single best asset an entrepreneur can have is a spouse with a steady job and health insurance.)
  • You don’t have to wait till retirement to start your business. (Research shows many new businesses are started by those who have turned 65.) 
  • Those under 26 will be covered on their parents health plan and can more easily afford the risk.
  • If you are 22, about to graduate college and looking for a job, stop looking now and start a business. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  You may have student loans, but you don’t have real expenses – kids and mortgages.  Starting a business will give you invaluable experience.
  • More rural kids can afford to stay on farms.
  • Those stuck in corporate jobs can now take the jump. This is going to release workers, freelancers and other talented potential employees who    couldn’t afford the added risk of lack of health insurance.
  • Those with preexisting medical conditions can still get insurance.
  • Those who just want to work part-time now can.
New business opportunities?
  • 34 million more people are entering the health care market.
  • Increased demand for electronic health records.
  • Training and consulting in new rules and how they affect people.
  • Customized solutions to help healthcare businesses become more efficient.
  • Customized tablets and handhelds for doctors to use, or providing training and consulting.
  • Payments and process consulting.
  • New markets --- ?????

Medical care accounts for 18 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product--and it is taking up at least as much of the mindshare of plenty of American entrepreneurs and business owners.Guaranteed health coverage is a freedom card for those who want to spread their wings in a business of their own. It’s a gift to ourselves.

Here is an article that addresses the  Top Five Employee Questions About the Affordable Care Act

In summary it states:

  1. If your annual income is less than $9,350 (household income $18,700) or insurance premiums cost more than 8% of your annual income you won't be required to get health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty. (*plus a few other categories who are exempt). But if your income is above that and you don't get it you will have to pay a penalty of $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, up to $285 per family, or 1% of the annual family income, whichever is greater. Each year following the penalty will increase.
  2. You can get coverage: through your employer, your spouse (if he/she is covered by their employer), your parents (if you're under the age of 26), or on your own by purchasing health insurance from public exchanges. Employers with 50 or more full-time employees (a full-time employee is someone who works more than 30 hours per week on average), are required by law to provide health insurance.
  3. You may qualify for a tax subsidy if your household income falls within 133-400% of the federal poverty level.

*What are the statutory exemptions from the requirement to obtain minimum essential coverage? From
  1. Religious conscience: You are a member of a religious sect that is recognized as conscientiously opposed to accepting any insurance benefits. The Social Security Administration administers the process for recognizing these sects according to the criteria in the law.
  2. Health care sharing ministry: You are a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry.
  3. Indian tribes: You are a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe.
  4. No filing requirement: Your household income is below the minimum threshold for filing a tax return. The requirement to file a federal tax return depends on your filing status, age, and types and amounts of income. To find out if you are required to file a federal tax return, use the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA).
  5. Short coverage gap: You went without coverage for less than three consecutive months during the year. For more information see question 21.
  6. Hardship: A Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as an Affordable Insurance Exchange, has certified that you have suffered a hardship that makes you unable to obtain coverage.
  7. Unaffordable coverage options: You can’t afford coverage because the minimum amount you must pay for the premiums is more than eight percent of your household income.
  8. Incarceration: You are in a jail, prison, or similar penal institution or correctional facility after the disposition of charges against you.
  9. Not lawfully present: You are neither a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, nor an alien lawfully present in the U.S.