By Dustin Heap

Despite being signed into law over three and a half years ago, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I would guess that many people don’t even know that the PPACA is what is more commonly called the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.  The law itself represents the biggest change to the U.S. healthcare system in decades.

It’s arguably the most contentious law in recent history with both partisan sides debating fiercely the pros and cons. Regardless of partisan opinions and data the law will have an undeniable impact on small businesses. This impact will be seen due to the fact that at the crux of the law are mechanisms (mandates, penalties, etc.) that try to accomplish the end goal of insuring the uninsured. This effort to provide affordable healthcare coverage to everyone directly impacts employers.

In the past, small companies with limited budgets could choose where or how much health coverage to offer, the law stipulates that companies not offering health coverage to all employees will be penalized. This penalty kicks in at the threshold of 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees. Once this threshold is reached employers must provide insurance to all employees regardless of pre-existing conditions and gender.   The deadline to comply with this portion of the law has been delayed from January 1, 2014 to January 1, 2015.

One can quickly see the domino effect of what such a major requirement would mean for a small business. Considerations such as hiring, growth management, financial projections and decisions around offering coverage or paying penalties, cash flow, the administrative burden of complying with the law and much more now has to be evaluated.  Not to mention the fact that in many cases this expertise or time to understand the law is often missing in small businesses that are consumed with trying to grow.

Lastly, with the debate continuing over the law and its implementation there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the future of healthcare and small businesses. Anyone who has worked in business or understands economics will know that stability is critical to successful long term planning. With the exchange rollout debacle, it’s no surprise that small businesses are confused and worried as to what the future holds.

As a digital marketer for I’m far from being an Obamacare expert. Nonetheless, as a custom signage provider that primarily deals with small businesses, we see firsthand the concern business owners have concerning the law. So in a genuine interest to help other small businesses, together with our marketing agency (Stryde), we created a resource that we believe is an excellent non-partisan guide to Obamacare and small business. While we’re neither policy wonks nor attorneys, we feel the resource is an excellent starting point to make sure your business not only complies with the law but ensures the long term success of your business.

Check out the resource by clicking on the image below!

Obamacare and small business