Richard Joyce’s premiums under the Affordable Care Act spiked so much he can’t hire any more part-time employees.
Joyce, who runs the Waxhaw-based financial advising company Financial Design, says he was stunned when he got a letter from Blue Cross on Sept. 23 about next year’s medical plan.
The letter said his current plan, which cost $406 per month for him and his teenage daughter, didn’t meet benefit requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act.
Blue Cross said a comparable plan – the “Blue Advantage Silver 5000” – was $818, which would more than double his 2013 premium.
Joyce spoke with an insurance broker to compare other carriers’ plans and see whether any were more affordable. All the rates were similar – all higher than they were before.
At first, Joyce, who’s not eligible for a federal subsidy on the individual exchange, thought his only feasible option was to lay off one of his two part-time employees. The two each make between $300 and $400 a month by helping Joyce with paperwork, filing and other administrative tasks.
But now, he has decided to cough up the extra cash and hold off on hiring additional part-time employees in the summer who help with newsletters, data entry and other tasks he could delegate.
“If I save 20 minutes here, 20 minutes there, then I’m saving 20 to 30 hours a week … and can work with my clients,” Joyce said. “But I just can’t budget (those part-timers) at this time.
“This is the first time in my adult life that the government has done something that has affected the financial stability of my family,” Joyce said. “No matter what political persuasion you are, it’s hitting everybody.” Caroline McMillan Portillo
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