New Iberia, Louisiana
I own a fire and safety equipment company in Louisiana that employs more than 20 people. We do everything we can to keep our health insurance premiums down. Every year we meet with our employees to discuss health care costs and encourage them to take advantage of the preventative services offered through their plans to help them live healthier lives and stay out of the emergency room whenever possible. Our employees understand how their behavior impacts premiums and everyone is doing their part to keep costs down.
Despite that, our premiums increased more than six percent last year, and I’ve been advised that they could go up between 22 to 25 percent next year. This increase is largely due to the Health Insurance Tax. If that happens, we may no longer be able to afford to cover 100 percent of our employees’ premiums. We may have to move to an 80/20 cost sharing arrangement, which I would hate to do. I am proud of the benefits we provide, but implementation of the HIT may leave us with no other choice.
C & S Safety Systems of Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
If Congress were to repeal this tax, we could use this money to offer additional benefits to our employees. We can also use this money to encourage additional hiring. Most importantly it would provide us the comfort to know that we’re going to be ok this year.
Massengale Grounds Management
I own ProComm Alaska, a two-way radio communications company based in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Our small business provides a critical service to Alaskans by ensuring that Alaska’s emergency response capabilities and infrastructure are fully functioning. We have 20 employees. And our company has installed 28 of the 32 dispatch centers in the state. As a result, I believe in taking care of our hard-working employees, which is why for the past 15 years, I have provided my staff with full health insurance coverage. Unfortunately, the HIT has left us with no choice but to decrease our benefits.
Initial estimates indicate that the HIT will cost my small business an additional $100,000 in higher premium costs over the next 10 years. My small business already operates on a tight budget, and absorbing such an increase in health care costs is unrealistic—plain and simple. We need relief from the HIT so that small businesses like mine may continue to focus on the critical services we provide, instead of being forced to make up for financial burdens that impact the livelihood of our employees.
Little Rock, Arkansas
As the owner of East-Harding Construction, I’ve always made a personal commitment to take care of my 35 full-time employees. That includes providing high-quality health benefits and coverage. But rising health insurance premiums are making that more and more difficult for me. Over just the last five years, premiums have increased by about 10 percent per year. If the HIT takes effect, my estimates are that premiums will increase by an additional five percent per year. As a result, it will be a challenge for me to continue providing the same level of coverage for my employees.
We need to repeal the HIT in order to give thousands of small companies like mine an unencumbered chance to survive in this lean and ultra-competitive economy. To do so, we must keep our overhead as low as possible while still providing our trusted and well-qualified employees with meaningful health care benefits so that they can care for their families. If the HIT is not repealed, I fear that small business like mine – which are the backbone of our economy and our tax base – will suffer and some will not survive. This is not good economic policy.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Ten years ago, my husband and I started a tour bus company as a hobby. We were both employed as journalists and never thought Little Rock Tours and Travel would become a full time job for one of us, let alone other employees.
But we found a niche and grew. Our part time hobby became a thriving tour company that employs 47 full-time equivalent employees. Business was good, and we were able to offer fair wages and good health insurance coverage for our employees. But ever since the health care reform law passed, providing health insurance benefits for our employees has gotten more and more difficult. Costs have skyrocketed and in one year alone we faced a 42 percent rate increase. With the HIT set to take effect next year and raise prices further, we may be forced to change insurance plans to one with higher deductibles. From a personal perspective, that would put our employees in a tough spot when it comes to much-needed medications and medical procedures. From a business perspective, the HIT may cause my husband and me to stop hiring new people and slow our growth.
Not only would repealing the HIT help bring some sanity back to health insurance costs, it would help stimulate the economy with new jobs, too.
Little Rock Tours and Travel
We are a small and growing businesses. With each employee that we add that would mean more cost to us on top of the benefits that we already offer and part of those benefits we actually pay for. We’ve grown from 5 to 22 and that can be very impactful and take away what we can be using that money for elsewhere. As you can imagine, $500 per employee per year, we’re talking $10,000 to $20,000. The biggest thing that will help us the most is for Congress to really push to get it repealed because it needs to be. If we can repeal, we can do so many more things with that funding.
Kasidonis Heating & Cooling
As the president of a small, but growing, law practice, it is important to me to keep costs under control. Since we opened our doors in 2009, we have represented professionals from around Denver and earned a reputation as one of the area’s top litigation firms.
Because of that reputation, in just five years we’ve carefully grown from a brand new firm to a small business with 15 employees. The truth is, with the amount of new business coming in, I probably have the capacity to add more employees. Unfortunately, the HIT and, more generally, rising health care costs make doing so a risky proposition. The HIT alone will increase health care costs by $7,500 per year, simply to continue providing the same insurance coverage. That is on top of annual premium increases.
I know I’m not the only small business owner sitting on the sidelines and not hiring new staff because of rising health insurance costs. Repealing the HIT will help the economy by freeing small businesses to hire more people and grow at a faster rate.
Faraci Wolanske, L.L.C.
This tax in particular and the rising cost of health insurance strangles the business owner’s ability to create new jobs.
Research Electronics International
Lake Bluff, Illinois
Congress needs to repeal the HIT tax because as small business tries to expand it stops them from doing that. When you have an added tax somewhere you have to pick that up. We don’t have the ability to increase our rates to the home owner and end user because margins are so small. What the HIT tax will inevitably do if it continues to grow is it will force people to shut small businesses down.
Rogers Nursery & Graffiti
Small businesses itself is the backbone of what’s going on in the states. We are very set on trying to make sure employees stay employed. Additional taxes, all it does is drive up prices to the consumer and the consumer is everyday people are low income, middle income and upper income. This tax is a burden on business and employers in the state of California with any small companies out there.
It’s a substantially larger impact than $500 per employee per year. It’s been more like $2,500 per employer per year. Especially when we have a larger employer portion, we could spend that money alone on a new employee. If that tax is dropped, we can expand our workforce or maintain our current workforce with better benefits.
Anderson Innovation Center
For the last 40 years, I’ve worked in the health and life insurance industries in Indiana, helping small businesses find the best benefit package to suit their needs. Because of this daily interaction, I am very well versed in the Affordable Care Act and the HIT, and I’m very concerned about how they will affect Indiana’s 484,000 small businesses.
Every time I talk with a small business owner, I make sure to mention the HIT and ask them if they know how it is going to affect them. For those that don’t, I work with them to plan for how to absorb the extra costs. The worst part about this tax is that many people who will feel the impact of the HIT, aren’t even aware of it yet.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Twenty years ago, my dad, brother and I started Illuminating Technologies, an industrial, commercial and retail lighting firm. While we have grown over the years, we are still a small business with a big footprint. Unfortunately, I cannot accurately predict the costs of operating our business over the next three to five because of the still-unwritten and yet-to-be-implemented aspects of the President’s healthcare law and their impact on insurance costs. This is true of our own company as well as our suppliers, partners and clients.
There is a lot of uncertainty in the small business community, which leads to lost opportunities for growth. Without predictable costs we are unable to bid on multi-year contracts that we need to expand our business, hire more people and support growing clients. We have 34 employees, and the HIT will certainly affect how much we are able to contribute toward health insurance pensions for each of them.
It’s disincentive that you don’t want to grow. There’s a healthcare problem in this country and we need to resolve it.
Mac & Bob’s Restaurant
Port Allen, Alabama
The HIT tax is going to cost us as well as other small businesses. That hidden tax funding is going to cause us to raise prices. When we look at overall cost and process, everything has to go up accordingly for us to pay for it.
For the last 31 years, I have owned a full-line independent insurance agency that serves families and local businesses in Oregon. I provide my employees with a set amount of money to put toward insurance and let them choose the policy that best serves their needs. With the HIT set to raise health insurance costs for individual health insurance policies, the money I provide is not going to go nearly as far as it once did. I would like to ensure my employees are not adversely affected by the HIT, but I just do not think it will be possible.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any additional cuts I can make to accommodate another increase in health care costs. I have already been forced to lay off 20% of my workforce in addition to minimizing overhead costs as much as possible. Like many small business owners, my company’s income depends on the rates we receive from the insurance companies we contract with. Despite these variable costs, we need to maintain competitive wages to attract and retain valuable employees. The HIT is yet another cost that will weigh on the shoulders of small business owners and their employees. Elected leaders – both in Oregon and around the country – need to find a way to change things before it is too late and help small businesses like mine avoid the HIT.
Gordon Wood Insurance and Financial Services
We have state representatives who own restaurants who are looking at closing down at least three of their restaurants because they’re saying at the end of the day, this tax is not worth it.
Arizona Restaurant Association
Des Moines, Iowa
It hits small business in a variety of ways. It impacts our ability to offer health insurance for our employees, it affects our bottom line, and it especially affects whether or not we’re going to grow as far as adding employees for our organization.
The HIT impacts our ability to offer health insurance for our employees, it affects our bottom line, and it especially affects whether or not we’re going to grow as far as adding employees for our organization.
I don’t think it’s fair to put additional taxes on small employers. Small businesses are who employs the majority of the people in our community. Why put additional tax on the small employers when they can barely afford to keep going everyday.
The Rains Agency