Northeast Berks Chamber members gain insight into how Affordable Care Act affects employers

Northeast Berks Chamber members recently gained insight into the Affordable Care Act and how it affects employers.

Speaker Charles Scheim, Esq., of Stevens & Lee, presented an update about the Affordable Care Act, or also known as PPACA: ObamaCare, during a recent Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

As a chamber, I believe it is our responsibility to update our members on upcoming legislation, said Chamber Executive Director Tammy Gore. I dont think theres any legislation thats going to affect companies and individuals more than the Affordable Care Act.

Scheim wanted members to learn their responsibilities according to the Act, There are things that employers need to be concerned about, mostly the potential penalty for not providing affordable coverage to their employees.

Generally, the penalty for not providing coverage is $2,000 for every employee in the workforce, and if the coverage is not affordable and the employee gains coverage on the Exchange, there is a $3,000 penalty, according to Scheim. A key change was the employer mandate effective date was delayed from 2014 to 2015 for large employers and for employers with under 50 employees the date was delayed to 2016.

It was excellent. I learned a lot about health.gov and what the government is trying to do with healthcare, said chamber member Deborah Berger of Hasch Daal Custom Embroidery, Silk-Screening & Promotional Items in Maxatawny.

I think anytime you can hear about healthcare because its changing all the time is helpful for any business or self-employed person, said chamber member Kim Davis, of Cynergy Associates and KD Consulting LLC.

For Allan Cornman, an Ameriprise financial advisor in Reading, he felt the program did not help him much. I think its a confused mess.

The breakfast was sponsored by Capital Blue Cross. Dudley Mann, a sales manager with Capital Blue Cross, said they value their chamber partnerships and the topic was relevant, it was the exact kind of event they want to sponsor to help get the education and the word out about what ObamaCare is all about.

Surprising enough, there are people who think that health insurance companies like ourselves are totally against everything about the PPACA law, and we are not. Theres a lot of good, and it brings us new membership ... and it puts us in a position where we can help them when they do ... need to make medical choices, said Mann.

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.