• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 59s

Obamacare leaves some Anchorage businesses wary

By Alexis Fernandez 9:05 AM January 1, 2014

“It's too expensive to implement, we literally can't provide its intent because the cost to us is so great."

ANCHORAGE – As pieces of the Affordable Care Act continue to be implemented, local businesses are still trying to figure out what this new law will mean for them.

For the past several months, business owners like Brian Richardson have been anything but worry-free because of the new health care law.

“It’s too expensive to implement, we literally can’t provide its intent because the cost to us is so great,” Richardon said.

He’s the CEO of Immediate Care Inc., a company that provides services to mostly elders who decide to live at home.

He employs nearly 400 people and about half of them work full time. At this time, the company does not offer health insurance, but it did try to before.

“Offered insurance to every single employee — also gave them the option of taking cash-in-hand instead to see what would be best for them and 85 percent of them actually chose to take cash in hand,” he said. “So the expense of managing the other 15 percent was just too much.”

Under the ACA law, by 2015 employers with more than 50 employees could face a $2,000 fine per employee annually if they don’t offer health insurance and at least one employee qualifies to save money on a monthly premium on the Marketplace. Richardson said his business falls under both of these categories.

“It’s going to be a pretty dramatic on the workers, they’re the ones who are going to see the immediate impact, we may have to cut people to 30 hours a week, we may not be able to do certain things — we may not be able to expand,” Richardson said.

He said it would have to come up with $4 million to offer health insurance to everyone — or pay at least a $350,000 fine.

“The majority of our income actually comes from the state Medicaid program, Medicaid dictates what we get paid,” Richardson said. “We have no option of increasing our rates to get paid more.”

The ones who will suffer the most will be his clients, he said.

“The elderly person isn’t going to be able to live with the kind of stability health wise with the stability health wise, socially and mentally that they were getting under the program,” Richardson said.

Small employers with less than 50 people are exempt from the mandate, but could qualify for tax credits on group coverage on the marketplace.

Latest Stories

  • On-Air

    Teacher of the Week: Highlights from the School Year

    by Daybreak Staff on May 22, 12:58

    Over the past school year, Daybreak has highlighted 35 educators for Teacher of the Week, from Palmer to south Anchorage. Here is a look back at all of our teachers’ contributions as they share the secret to their success. In lieu of summer break, our Teacher of the Week segment will begin be back when […]

  • Politics

    Officials who promoted inclusivity seek to bar recall effort

    by Associated Press on May 22, 11:38

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Three leaders of an Alaska fishing community who sponsored a resolution to promote inclusivity after President Donald Trump’s election have asked a judge to block efforts to recall them. During a court hearing in Anchorage on Monday, Eric Glatt, an attorney for the three Homer City Council members, told Superior Court […]

  • Lifestyle

    Bill Condon will direct 2019 ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ remake

    by Associated Press on May 22, 11:19

    LOS ANGELES (AP) – After helping Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” spin box office gold, director Bill Condon has been tapped to breathe new life into “Bride of Frankenstein.” Universal Pictures said Monday that Condon’s remake will hit theaters in February 2019, making it the second film in its newly coined “Dark Universe ” […]

  • Lifestyle

    New fruit juice guidelines include big change for babies

    by CBS News on May 22, 11:15

    Kids love their juice, but new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advise parents to pull back on fruit juices of all kinds for children of all ages. It’s the first update to the group’s guidelines on fruit juice for kids in 16 years. One of the biggest changes is the recommendation that […]

  • Lifestyle

    Harvesting Alaska: The Learning Farm is teaching children about farm life, compassion for animals

    by Rachael Penton on May 22, 9:17

    If you’ve got a little one, chances are they’re familiar with our native Alaska wildlife by the time they can talk. However, it may be a different story when it comes to common farm animals. “I’ve brought animals into schools for years and I really found that they know very little about animals, especially farms […]

  • Sports

    Swim, Bike, Run: Gold Nugget Triathlon provides a challenge and inspiration

    by Dave Goldman on May 22, 8:54

    It was damp and cool. At times the rain came down on Sunday morning, too — perfect for a triathlon, as the 2017 Gold Nugget took off and ended in its traditional spot at Bartlett High School. The 500 yard swim in the school’s pool, combined with a 12 mile bike ride and a 4.1 […]

  • NASA orders up urgent spacewalking repairs at space station

    by Associated Press on May 22, 7:29

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – NASA has ordered up urgent spacewalking repairs at the International Space Station. On Tuesday, two astronauts will venture out to replace a data relay box that broke over the weekend. The job falls to the two Americans on board: commander Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer. The failed unit is one […]

  • Man accused of killing girlfriend during suicide attempt arraigned

    by Daniella Rivera on May 22, 7:24

      An Anchorage man accused of killing his girlfriend while attempting to kill himself appeared in court Sunday. A grand jury indicted Victor Sibson, 21, on a charge of second-degree murder. Police responded to a 911 call in at the Club at Eagle Point apartments in Midtown during the early morning hours of April 19, […]