Health care reform was the topic of a seminar in Pittsford. Business owners and human resources professionals learned how the Affordable Care Act will impact their employees. Many remain undecided on what direction they'll take come January 1.
Monroe Golf Club was the site of the seminar hosted by Bond Financial Network, an employee benefits consulting firm. The purpose was to educate business owners on how they may be impacted when the Health Care Act goes into effect next January.
There's a lot of concern as the cost of health care is expected to go up, along with administrative costs. It's recommended that employers begin making plans and changes now.
"The big changes are going to be deciding whether you want to continue to offer employer-provided health care or if an employer would be better off not providing health care and having its employees go to the insurance exchanges. Some employees will come out ahead in that scenario; other employees are going to take a significant financial hit with those changes," said Erick Bond, Bond Financial Network CEO.
About 100 businesses were expected to attend this seminar; however, with this being such a hot topic more than 250 showed up. They came from all over New York State.
John Dobbertin is the CFO at GPM Associates in Dansville, Livingston County. The vinyl products manufacturer has 100 employees. Dobbertin says the company wants to continue offering health care benefits, but can't guarantee that will happen.
"Quite honestly, with the regulations that are in place it's become so expensive. The regulations in New York State and in the U.S. are making it too expensive to continue to manufacture here," Dobbertin said.
Even first responders are also concerned with pending cost increases. Ted Aroesty, Executive Director of the Brighton Fire District, says despite having 75 volunteer firefighters, it also has more than 40 paid employees that receive health care.
"The cost increases that come every year, 18 to 20 percent, are certainly a challenge for us when we have a two percent cap that we try and do stay under every year," said Aroesty.
Expect more of these seminars in the coming months. The Small Business Council of Rochester is holding one next Wednesday.