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Affordable Care Act Small Business Survival Guidance

The Democrat Reporter of Linden, Alabama

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Although the online enrollment of the Affordable Care Act for small businesses has been delayed, small business owners are still searching for answers about how new insurance requirements will impact their businesses.

To answer questions with as much information as is currently available, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System has partnered with the National Federation of Independent Business and the law firm of Constangy, Brooks and Smith, LLP.

The result is a 46-minute webinar available immediately that provides an overview of the recent changes to the Affordable Care Act, and how these changes will affect small businesses and the healthcare benefits they provide for their employees. The webinar features Tommy Eden, an attorney, with the law firm of Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP and a member of the Alabama Bar Association section of Labor and Employment Law, and Rosemary Elebash,

Alabama director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

"We are pleased to partner again with ACES to present our third update on ACA," said Elebash. This webinar, 'ACA Small Alabama Business Survival Guidance,' addresses five things small business owners need to know as they move into a new insurance environment. It also explains options and changes they can make before the new law takes effect."

On Nov. 27, the Obama administration delayed online enrollment until Nov. 2014 for small businesses using the Affordable Care Act's federal marketplace. Officials had already delayed acceptance of online applications in the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP since the Oct. 1 launch of HealthCare.gov., according to Eden.

By 2015, small businesses with 50 employees or less have the option of joining the Small Business Health

Options Program (SHOP). Through SHOP, employers can control the coverage they offer employees and they have the option of offering a plan that is more suitable to their business.

"Small businesses provide community workforce stability and are a critical part of our state's economy," said Paul Brown, Extension associate director. "This webinar is one of several ways Extension is expanding educational opportunities to small businesses through our distance technology deliver system."

The public can view the webinar in several ways. First, they can watch from their home or office computer by going to this web address www.aces.edu/events, to the Extension YouTube site at http://www.youtube.com/watc h?v=nK17Y8gXGlo or to http://aces.panopto.auburn.ed u/Panopto/Pages/Viewer/Default.aspx?id=ac03a051 -3493-40b4-b8fe-a62075ce29f6. Also, some of ACES' county offices may show the webinar.

Individuals should contact their county Extension office to confirm if the webinar will be shown there. Visit the Extension website:www.aces.edu, to find the county office near you.

Opinions range widely regarding the new federal insurance law. Regardless of how you feel about health care reform, the bottom line is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a federal mandate and all Americans are required to obtain health care in 2014 either through an employer, Medicare,

Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program, TRICARE or another federal government-approved health plan, unless you fall into an exempt category. At least 65 percent of Americans will obtain health care through their employers.

If you have questions about the information in the webinar, contact Tommy Eden at teden@constangy.com or Rosemary Elebash at rose-mary.elebash@nifb.org.



Copyright 2014 The Democrat Reporter, Linden, Alabama. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 2, 2014



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