KCUR News
11:25 am
Thu September 16, 2010

Local Businesses Brace for Health Care Changes

Kansas City, MO – Small businesses throughout Kansas City are bracing for changes under the federal health law.

New provisions, like no more rescinding of insurance policies or capping of lifetime limits on benefit payouts, take effect as early as next week. Interest in these and other developments brought out about a hundred people to a small business forum yesterday, sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Health Care Foundation.

During a session break, Dr. Lynn McIntosh talks with her insurance broker about whether her practice is eligible for a tax credit outlined in the new health law.

"...Is it what the employee makes?..."

She says it can be a challenge for small business owners like her to keep up with details of the legislation.

"We do expect many changes, so that's why you have to come to these things. If you don't, you'll never know. As the woman from CBIZ said [during a panel earlier], there were 19 updates since it's [the legislation's] even been employed."

Panelists at the event encouraged businesses to start figuring out their health coverage options and future budgets as the new law gets implemented.

Meanwhile, Dr. McIntosh says she doesn't think she's eligible for that tax credit, which applies to businesses with no more than 25 workers with average wages of less than $50,000 a year.

Blue Cross reports that so far, about sixty local businesses have signed up with them to start offering health coverage to their workers as a result of the new credits.

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