Does ACA put burden on small business owners?

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by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and photojournalist JOHN FISHER

Bio | Email | Follow: @JimB_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on October 8, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 8 at 5:40 PM

CEDAR PARK, Texas -- Despite the continuing government shutdown, the Affordable Care Act remains in effect, but not everyone is happy with the ACA. Many small business owners say the new law shackles them unfairly. One owner in Central Texas says he's expecting to pay nearly 50 percent more to make sure his employees have health care coverage.

Corvalent Corporation in Cedar Park manufactures computers that can withstand the rugged and demanding conditions of the industrial, medical or military world. Now can it withstand the beating Corvalent's founder says his and other small businesses will have to endure under the Affordable Care Act?

"Our insurance agent came in and told us we are going to have a 44 percent increase in our insurance premiums," said Ed Trevis, who also founded Corvalent 20 years ago.  

Trevis says he currently pays about $350,000 a year for health care coverage for his nearly 50 employees.

"It's going to to go to a half a million dollars," said Trevis. "Somebody is going to have to pay for it. The company can't do that alone. It's either going to be reflected in the cost of our product that's going to go up, or the employees are going to have to pay more as well, so everybody is getting affected."

Trevis says he isn't just concerned about his cost, but the cost to his employees' overall health. Two years ago Corvalent started a wellness program. Collectively employees dropped nearly 500 pounds.  Christopher Ullmann lost 36. Now he and other employees realize the wellness program could be lost to rising health care costs.

"I barely squeeze by as is, so it's not a good thing," he said.

"I'm not sure what more costs I can afford," said Dan Yates, a regional sales manager for Corvalent. "I think benefits will be reduced. Then it becomes my burden to stay out of the doctor's office."

Trevis says like other small businesses his company has experienced steadily rising health care costs over the past several years to the tune of five to 10 percent annually.

"But 44 percent is a job killer in my opinion," he said.

Trevis says dropping health insurance is not an option, because to stay competitive he must provide it to his employees.

Go here for more of KVUE's coverage on the ACA.

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