Health insurance mandates concern local business

Health insurance mandates concern local business

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - As the Affordable Care Act continues to roll out reforms, small businesses are trying to account for the additional costs in their budgets.

Beginning in 2014, employers with more than 50 full-time employees must offer a health insurance plan to their workers or face a penalty.

Steel City Pizza Company estimates the changes would cost the business $240,000 each year. The company employs 100 people at their two locations in North Charleston and Mt. Pleasant.

"It's not that we don't believe in it and it's not that we don't want our staff to have health care, but how can we make it affordable?" Partner Mark Gray says. "Because the way we understand it, it's not feasible."

Gray, along with company partner Adam Carb, says they have to wait to firm up their 2014 budget because of the possible costs.

"We're still figuring it out," Carb says. "We get different numbers from our accountants and our attorneys, so we need to figure out what the actual financial impact is going to be to us."

Because the mandate only considers full-time workers as those logging 30 or more hours each week, Carb says the company is careful to not upset their balance of full-time and part-time employees.

"We don't want to do anything that could change our level because we're right on the cusp," he says. "So we need to get our information and numbers correct and then make decisions from there."

If the final price tag of providing insurance cuts too much into their profits, Gray says the fate of the company would be unknown.

"We would have to work somewhere else and find other dreams," he says. "It's just not feasible."

Copyright WCSC 2013. All rights reserved.