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posted: 2/15/2014 5:00 AM

Business owners must educate selves on ACA

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It is no surprise to anyone that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been fraught with problems. Whether website glitches or policy cancellations, these issues have served to add to the confusion surrounding an already complex issue.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce shares the goal of seeing to it that Illinois workers have access to affordable, quality health care. But beyond all of the political posturing, it is imperative for tens of thousands of Illinois business owners to understand the changing landscape of health insurance benefits for their employees. Under the ACA, some businesses will be required to provide health insurance or pay a tax penalty; others, while exempt from this mandate, will need to provide documentation of coverage status for workers, and all employers will need to make critical decisions that will impact their companies and employees.

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The Illinois Chamber of Commerce encourages all business owners to learn exactly how the ACA will affect them. Many employers are sitting down with their insurance brokers and benefits consultants to assess their options. It has also launched a new insurance exchange for businesses called the Illinois Chamber Benefits Exchange that will help them understand these choices. This exchange will help employers see if they qualify for subsidies or credits and direct them to the state's Get Covered Illinois exchange when applicable, while it helps others shop for coverage in the private marketplace. For more information on this private exchange, please visit www.illinoischamberexchange.com.

The most important thing for business owners to remember is that the ACA brings with it opportunities and obligations and it is in their best interest and that of their workers to fully examine their options. The Chamber stands ready to work with all employers to broaden access to care to workers across the state.

Todd Maisch

Executive Vice President

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

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