Obamacare

A Small Business Owner Explains the Hard Facts of Obamacare to Employees

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Caduceus
Public Domain

There's been a lot of discussion about the challenges faced by businesses large and small in managing health care costs, especially as those costs escalate and as employers' options are increasingly limited by the strictures imposed by Obamacare. An even clearer picture of the dilemma small firms face is offered by a peek inside their internal deliberations, including the trade-offs that companies have to offer their employees in order to keep them reasonably content, as well as control costs and comply with the law. The following memo was sent to employees of Capterra, a Virginia-based firm that serves as a marketplace for business software, by Michael Ortner, the company's president. Capterra has just 23 employees, so it's subject to fewer restrictions than larger employers (especially those with more than 50 employees) but has fewer resources and less bargaining power than larger companies, too.

Ortner is no stranger to political debate, having written on health care issues for public consumption, and this memo includes some (informed) policy discussion. But the memo also outlines the hard choices the company has to make as it decides what (and whether) to offer employees in the way of health coverage. With permission, I've included the whole memo including political discussion, with one name excised, so you get everything in context.

Hey everyone,

Following up on [N]'s email, I wanted to give to give some more background as to why we are considering a switch.  In fact, I will take this as an opportunity to dive deeper into the health insurance world. Unfortunately, given the times we live in, we can no longer afford to be in the dark on this stuff.  We have some tough choices ahead of us, if not now, then likely in a year or two.  First, the short answer…

We're considering a switch from CareFirst to United because CareFirst is increasing their rates by 28%.  We may be able to switch to United without any increase in our premiums for the next year; our insurance guy will confirm this over the next couple weeks.  The last time I checked, CareFirst and United are the two largest health insurance providers in the country.  We would be moving from CareFirst's best plan (zero deductible in network and no need to see your primary physician before seeing a specialist) to United's best plan (also zero deductible in network and no need to to see your primary physician before seeing a specialist) and maintaining the same arrangement where Capterra pays 100% of premiums for individuals and 75% for families.  

I know that some of us use doctors that do not take CareFirst and my guess is that some of your doctors do not take United.  In fact, I know of some doctors who have dropped all insurance over the last 12 months so whatever program we go with will not be perfect.  That said, I am happy to look at other insurance providers if your doctor does not take United.  Please ask them what insurance plans they do accept and I will have our guy look into those plans.  If we hear a common theme, then that would certainly increase the likelihood that we would go with that insurance plan if the price is right.  If you would like more time to investigate then we can extend our deadline a month.  We have the option of switching over on June 1 or July 1.

And now the long answer, but please keep reading.  🙂

Health benefits are our third highest cost, after payroll and search ads, but now more than our rent.  A 28% increase is significant.  We essentially have four options:

1) Keep the exact same CareFirst plan, and have Capterra swallow the cost.  Individuals currently pay 0% of their premiums (which are around $500/month) but families pay 25% (of their $1500 monthly premiums).  So the families would also pay more for their 25% share.  The higher cost for Capterra would reduce our ability to hire, give raises, etc.

2) Keep the exact same CareFirst plan, and start charging both individuals and families 25% of the premiums.  (Most companies, yes even Google, that provide health insurance benefits to their employees have them pay 25-50% of their monthly premiums.)

3) Keep CareFirst but subscribe to a cheaper plan that includes an in-network deductible.  This basically means if you ever visit your doctor, you will be paying the first 1k or whatever the deductible is in expenses that year.

4) Switch to a different top tier plan from a a different insurance provider such as United that for whatever reason has not increased their premiums yet and not change anything (yet) about how we pay for everyone's insurance. 

5) Stop paying heath care benefits, pay people cash instead and encourage everyone to do health savings accounts (they are not taxed!) and buy catastrophic plans with part of the cash.  More on this later.

#4 seems like the least painful solution for everyone here.  Again, please let me know what other insurance plans your doctors take if they do not take United and I can have our insurance guy research it.  Also, if you have any input regarding the other options I mentioned I'd love hear it.

You may be wondering how the health insurance industry got to be so convoluted.  Let me explain why and it requires going back in history a bit:

Back in the 1940s, our federal government enacted wage controls that restricted what some businesses could pay their employees.  (There were smart people who spoke out against this terrible idea but unfortunately not enough.)  This resulted in businesses looking for other ways to compensate their employees and the IRS decided that it would not treat benefits such as health insurance as taxable wages.  Until then people generally paid medical fees out of pocket in the same way they paid for virtually anything else out of pocket.  The fees up until were relatively small for two reasons:  1) medicine was not very advanced so when something catastophric happened there was not often much that could be done to help the patient and therefore no huge expenses were incurred and 2) since people were paying their doctors directly it was a very efficient and fair market. 

So 70 years later, even though the wage controls thankfully disappeared, the IRS treatment of health insurance did not.  Health insurance benefits continue to not be taxed as income.  At first glance by the uninformed citizen (such as me until a few years ago), this appears to be a good thing.  But in reality it is actually a terrible thing.  Here is why.  

First, let's look at the first obvious and intended consequence:  while our total compensation remains the same whether we are getting salary plus health benefits or all of it in the form of salary, our freedom to decide how much of our salary to spend on health benefits is lost.  And many of us would and should spend less than we do on health benefits.  For example, there is no way most 23 year old single people should be spending $500/month on health insurance.  That's a bad deal for most 23 years olds and if given the choice most should take atleast half of that in cash and save it/invest it.  23 year olds are already getting stuck with higher premiums on auto insurance since they are higher risk drivers; by the same principle, they should be paying much lower premiums since they are generally less at risk health-wise.

But that's just the start.  Other unintended consequences that have gradually worsened over the last 70 years:

1) Irrespective of much we decide to spend, we lack freedom in choosing the specific plan that is right for us when we receive it as a benefit from our employer.

2) If we decide to buy health insurance directly (10% of Americans do), we are discriminated against since we do not receive the same treatment from the IRS.  We have to use post tax dollars to purchase it.  This is completely unjust and should be the first thing on an political leader's agenda when it comes to solving the healthcare problem.  Either everyone should pay taxes on them or noone should.

3) When we develop a treatable medical condition, we are out of luck if we leave our employer since our insurance was tied to that employer and we now have a pre-existing condition.

4) The worst of all…because most of us receive our heathcare as a benefit, we are completely separated from any real knowledge of our actual expenses.  This is the major reason why our healthcare expenses are now through the roof.

The beginning of a solution is relatively simple:

1) Allow individuals to deduct their health insurance from their taxes (just like they essentially can if they receive them as a benefit)

2) Have employers get out of healthcare as a benefit and instead kick that money into the salaries of their employees

3) Allow people to buy health insurance from any provider across the country (also not currently allowed)

4) Allow insurance companies to offer plans that are primarily catastrophic in nature (also not currently allowed due to over-regulation)

Oh yes, and elect principled political leaders who have the guts to to offer real solutions like this instead of the misery that is happening now.  It was bad prior to the most recent healthcare legislation; it is now way worse.  For example, one big reason that our rates are skyrocketing is that it is becoming illegal for CareFirst and all other health insurance companies to deny someone with a preexisting condition.  What insurance provider in their right mind would cover someone new who say, just contracted flesh eating bacteria, for example?  It's the equivalent of a home insurance provider accepting a new customer whose house was already burning down.  People can now pay a small fine/tax, and not get insurance until they get a major health problem and then the insurance provider has to accept them at the same rate that everyone else is paying.  This is just plain stupid; it violates the entire point of insurance and will result in people gaming the system.  It tries to solve a problem by dealing with the symptom.  Anyone who has a preexisting condition (exclude the poor—15% of population—who are covered by Medicaid) should be on their own insurance plan that they have been purchasing since they rolled off their parents plan.  (It's slightly more complicated than that but I'm trying to be brief.)

Anyway, why am I saying all this?  Everyone needs to be educated on this stuff because it is impacting all of us.  And more to the point, assuming United works for this coming year, my guess is that rates will go up next year, and we'll go through this again.  And I think we should seriously consider #5 next year or atleast do #2.

In the meantime, we need to decide whether to do #4 and switch to United or #2 which means sticking with CareFirst and having all employees start paying 25% of premiums.  Guessing most of you would pick #4, but please let me know.

I'm simply trying to be fully transparent and help everyone be more informed!  Anyway…please let me know if you have any questions.  Happy to host a roundtable or discuss individually if you have questions.  Sorry if this seemed convoluted.  🙂

– Mike

Michael Ortner
Capterra, Inc.

By the way, you've probably already heard that calculating the size of a company for the purposes of Obamacare compliance isn't as simple as counting the names on the payroll, but rather is a matter of "full-time equivalent" employees. as Businessweek explained in March, "[t]he FTE calculation considers full-time any employee who is scheduled or has worked more than 40 hours per week, averaged over a month. So if you have two part-timers who work 20 hours a week, they would count as one FTE." *

Where things get interesting is with companies that have fluctuating staff needs, depending on short-term jobs and shifting contracts. As that same article explained to a business owner whose staff varied from 37-53:

A business like yours, which employs variable-hour workers who may work 40 hours one week and not at all other weeks, must add up the total hours those employees worked in a year. Divide that number by 2,080 (which represents 40 hours/week times 52 weeks in a year) and you'll get the number of FTEs your company employs.

Got it? So figure out how many employees you have, and start parsing your options, just like the folks at Capterra.

* Jonathan Ingram, Director of Research at the Florida Foundation for Government Accountability, tweets to me that this is wrong. Says he, "BusinessWeek is wrong. FTE not 40 hrs. All part-time hours are added together and the total is divided by 120 hours per month. … See 26 U.S.C. §4980H(c)(2)(E) for the exact language. Hope no small businesses are misled by the BusinessWeek article!"

Now imagine small businesses wading through this crap …

NEXT: Judgment in Disabled Workers Case Cut from $240 Million to $1.6 Million

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  1. Good write up, although I wonder how many read up to the point he explained the unwise incentives our leaders have put in place that warped the health care industry into what we have today. (And the new incentives they keep piling on.)

    1. If you are trying to explain problems with a program to someone who believes it is a good thing, attempting to discuss the perverse incentives it creates merely proves to them that you are uncaring and evil.

    2. I assume most will write it off as one of those right-wing tea party email forwards.

      1. this thread is probably regarded as a tea party email forward

    3. Hey fist, you son of a bitch, why aren’t you at the goddamn hockey game?

        1. You are not at the game!!

          1. Round 2, Game 2. And it will be warm enough I can wear shorts. This one I have to watch it on NBC’s terrible, terrible HD feed with their terrible, terrible Mike Milbury.

            1. no CBC feed!?!?!

              also, a grown man wearing short pants in public?

              1. When you have gams like these, it would be a crime to deprive the lady yinzers.

                I would love to watch CBC but Obama stops that at the border while letting Bieber walk right in. That’s the scandal we should be talking about.

              2. also, a grown man wearing short pants in public?

                Fist ain’t a grown-ass-man, he’s actually a seven year old commenting machine.

                1. That would explain all the CAPS.

                  1. I thought it was because your methhead, broke-ass parents were too cheap to buy you a computer without a stuck shift key.

                    1. Are his parents made of ass or are they the parents of his ass?

                      This hyphen thing is way-confusing!

                    2. Yeahhh, that’s why my keys are sticky.

                    3. ewwww

                    4. Oh shit man, I totally forgot about your leprosy. So sorry about that.

                      I think we should all chip in and get fist a pus-resistant keyboard. I’ll start it off with a dollar.

                    5. Fist has leprosy? Should we hold a telethon? Get him a ticket to Molokai?

                    6. I’ll take any of those things.

            2. It was better when Milbury was a GM. He only alienated one market instead of all of them. Just wait til I get ahold of his shoe.

      1. Why aren’t you eating some Syrian dude’s heart, general?

        1. Not a big fan of middle eastern cuisine.

  2. Government loves me, This I know,
    For the Government tells me so,
    Little ones to GAWD belong,
    We are weak, but GAWD is strong!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    GAWD does love me, yes indeed,
    Keeps me safe, and gives me feed,
    Shelters me from bad drugs and weed,
    And gives me all that I might need!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    DEA, CIA, KGB,
    Our protectors, they will be,
    FBI, TSA, and FDA,
    With us, astride us, in every way!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    (GAWD, in Scienfoology, stands for Government Almighty’s Wrath Delivers, FYI.)

  3. Power is all that matters.

  4. Why do I get the feeling that Michael Ortner may soon be subjected to an IRS audit?

  5. We would be moving from CareFirst’s best plan (zero deductible in network and no need to see your primary physician before seeing a specialist) to United’s best plan (also zero deductible in network and no need to to see your primary physician before seeing a specialist) and maintaining the same arrangement where Capterra pays 100% of premiums for individuals and 75% for families.

    Holy crap, that’s ridiculously good coverage.

    3) When we develop a treatable medical condition, we are out of luck if we leave our employer since our insurance was tied to that employer and we now have a pre-existing condition.

    You hear this a lot, but this hasn’t actually been true since 1996. If you had HIPAA compliant insurance in the last 63 days, you can’t be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions if you switch to another insurance provider. Even before Obamacare, pre-existing conditions only applied to people who were uninsured.

    1. Hey slick, you just set of my mendacity detector.

    2. I thought that was only for group coverage, and guaranteed issue individual plans. IIRC, you can’t get coverage on the pre-existing condition for medically underwritten individual coverage.

      1. They are gonna lie their asses off about how great obamacare is and blame anything that goes wrong on the republicans until obamacare fails spectacularly. That is the plan. Then they can usher in single payer.

        It is a socialist power-grab, plain and simple. If they control health care, they control everything. They dont give a flying shit about health, except as a means of control.

        Remember “sometimes it is better if you just take a pill”? What lying shitweasel said, on camera, to our faces, is ” You are old or sick and have nothing left to give or for us to take so just go away and die.”. Then his bootlickers fell all over themselves trying to defend him.

        Take into account that Stormy there is one of them.

    3. Lol and if you have any gap at all you can bet that Insurance companies will do everything they can to ensure that you go past that 63 day limit.

      I’m running into this now. Took a job that was supposed to be perm with full benefits but due to some paperwork and office politics issues with the home office they decided at the last minute they would have to hold off for a few days and asked if I’d be ok coming on as a contractor to start.

      I said sure no problem, it’s just a couple of days. Well that couple of days stretched to a couple of weeks and it is now up to 2 months and they still aren’t sure when it will happen. Overall an annoyance but no big deal except it meant I needed to get a private health care plan.

      My 63 days was up 5/2 and I put in the application on 5/15. Well thanks to some paperwork problems on the part of my old insurer (producing Certificate of Creditable Coverage) the new insurer did not get all of the paperwork prior to 5/1 so they are now telling me that My coverage will not commence until 6/1

  6. Wow. So if you want to stay under 50 employees your business can only have 101,920 man hours per year.

    1. Can you get arouind this by outsourcing some of your structure? Like hiring a 3rd party to do all your accounting, and another to do your recruiting wont count towards that total, correct?

      1. I’d assume so, but I’d imagine they’re already trying to get out in front of that.

        In the last few months, Walmart and amazon have been sued for practices of their sub-sub-contractors.

        1. Amazon and Walmart are big targets, but it would be far more difficult to enforce that for small businesses though. Where are you gonna draw that line? Are they going to also make it count when you outsource your lunchtime meal preparation to a local restaurant?

      2. In theory yes, however there are already rules in place that can make a “consultant” an employee.

        Basically if you want to do this you really have to do it, you can’t “hire” an “accounting firm” who works in your offices and for whom you are the only customer for example, they would be very quickly ruled to be your employees even if there was another corporate structure in place that they worked for

  7. Good history of gov’t screw-ups that got us here, but won’t matter.
    The Obozobots will MEGO and blame the insurance companies.

    1. It is the republican’s fault, I just know it.

      1. Specifically, the sinister Chimpy Katrinaburton.

  8. Why can’t they just give their employees something for nothing?

    Lean forward!

    My God, we have a shitty president.

    1. I remember when there was first talk of putting him up for the office. He was a senator in Illinois who had voted against the right to self-defense. That was all I needed to know about him.

      Unfortunately, he has exceeded my expectations.

        1. You really need to quit talking to yourself, OB. You’ll seem even crazier than you already do.

        2. http://www.wnd.com/2013/01/oba…..k-decades/

          In March 2004, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 2165, a law introduced in response to DeMar’s case, with provisions designed to assert a right of citizens to protect themselves against home invasions, such that self-defense requirements would be viewed to take precedence over local ordinances against handgun possession.

          The measure passed the Illinois Senate by a vote of 38-20.

          Obama was one of the 20 state senators voting against the measure.

          I’m guessing this is what he’s referring to.

        3. Fuck you cunt.

        4. Lying? It is a matter of record you dumbshit.

    2. “Why can’t they just give their employees something for nothing?”

      I have had a number of people ask that in all seriousness.

      1. Lean forward!

        1. The first step of bending over is leaning forward.

      2. The company has a big pile of money, and that’s just not fair!

  9. Jeeze, guys, over on the libtards /= science thread, we got *action*!

    1. Where is that thread?

        1. That’s not action, that’s just Sevo talking to himself.

    1. Number one really earned its spot.

    2. I like that Putin’s hanging out in the terrified russian child pic.

    3. Had no idea The Gipper was a southpaw. Blows my whole image.

      1. Actually he was ambidextrous according to the Wikipedias:

        Ronald Reagan is rumored to have been left-hand dominant, but forced by his schoolteachers and parents to switch. However, documentation of this is unreliable. If true, it would place Reagan in the category of ambidextrous presidents.

        1. Shoots lefty. All the rest is irrelevant.

        2. Ronald Reagan is rumored to have been left-hand dominant, but forced by his schoolteachers and parents to switch.

          The amended sentence is my story as well. Fucking small town school teachers. This was in the fucking 80’s.

  10. The Business Week article is wrong. See 26 U.S.C. ?4980H(c)(2)(E) for how to calculate full-time equivalents.

    You take the aggregate amount of all employees working fewer than 30 hours per week, then divide it by 120 hours per month. That works out to about 27-28 hours per week per FTE. (120 hours per month X 12 months per year = 1440 hours per year. 1440 hours per year / 52 weeks per year = 27.69 hours per week.)

    1. Why not sacrifice a lamb and count the spots on its liver?

    2. There are lots of ways to calculate FTE. When I do it I usually assume 2 weeks of vacation, thus a 2,000 hour work-year (50 40-hour weeks).

      1. Oh, I see now that it’s a specific formula for this application.

        1. Yes. Sorry for the confusion. What I described is how the law counts FTEs, for purposes of whether a company can get hit with the penalty.

  11. OK wow, now there is a dude that knows what time it is. Wow.

    http://www.Proxy-Anon.tk

    1. 10:06 pm?

  12. With 23 employees this company is exempt from the ACA.

    They are just complaining about a 70-yr insurance industry cartel sanctioned by the government. And they should be.

    1. Exempt from Obamacare, not from climbing premiums. Which is the point of his email.

      1. Rising premiums have nothing to do with Obamacare – a program that has not gone into effect.

        Are you saying premiums were flat 1990-2012?

        1. Because an insurance company can’t raise it’s rates beforehand? You really are stupid if you think they’ll just sit there until the exchanges open.

          1. Of course they can. They raise them every year – ACA or no ACA.

            1. Except the letter specifically states why they’re raising them, retard. Unless you’re saying he’s lying about the reason? Something you have no evidence for whatsoever, you mendacious excrement.

              1. Fail.

                The letter from Ortner does not mention the ACA or Obamacare.

                1. Fail. Learn reading comprehension, you ignoramus.

                  For example, one big reason that our rates are skyrocketing is that it is becoming illegal for CareFirst and all other health insurance companies to deny someone with a preexisting condition.

                  The preexisting condition rule is from Obamacare.

                  1. Group insurers historically don’t reject those with pre-existing conditions – even before the ACA.

                    My company has insured anyone we hire for 30 years or more.

                    1. Uh, yes they do, depending on the state. See my response below moron.

                    2. You can get the insurance, but the insurance won’t cover treatment of the pre-existing condition. I had to go through all sorts of paperwork to prove that I had continuous coverage so that my employer-provided group insurance would cover a Flonase prescription.

            2. You brought up the ACA. Yes, it’s true, I suspect the inbuilt perversities of the Obamacare resulted in anticipatory rate changes, with still more to come, but this particular instance involves a business owner rationally assessing his employees’ options in light of rising costs. You appear to agree with at least that much.

        2. For example, one big reason that our rates are skyrocketing is that it is becoming illegal for CareFirst and all other health insurance companies to deny someone with a preexisting condition.

          “They can’t possibly be raising their rates in anticipation! That’s unpossible!”

          Reading comprehension, the lost art.

          1. Group insurers don’t reject those with pre-existing conditions – even before the ACA.

            My company has insured anyone we hire for 30 years or more.

            1. Uh, yes they do. That’s why the ACA is making it illegal. Your insurance company /=/ every insurance company in America. Some states had already made it illegal (Romneycare’s MA, for example), which might be the reason why yours does.

              1. You brought up Romneycare! PBP knows it’s our fatal weakness.

              2. Pre-existing condition exclusions are prohibited for HIPAA-eligible individuals (those with 18 months continuous coverage unbroken for more than 63 days and coming from a group health insurance plan).

                shrike seems to think that everyone qualifies under this provision, but that is simply not the case.

              1. Ah, screwed up both those posts.

        3. You’re a stone cold moron.

          The PPACA has some parts that have gone into effect and some that have not.

          However, even the ones that have not are a known entity and companies are reacting to these expected changes.

        4. Palin’s Buttplug is showing its economic ignorance!!! Anyone who knows anything about the price mechanism knows that prices do not wait until the thing that would change the price takes effect!!! Prices will change, up or down, as soon as buyers and sellers realize the change is coming!!! So, you have proved to the world, Palin’s Buttplug, that you are an idiot. But who expects brilliance from a device intended to be inserted into a rectum.

    2. Yeah, because the ACA driving up their insurance premiums TOTALLY doesn’t affect them. Dumbass.

      1. See my comment to the first wingnut above.

        1. See my comment to your lying retarded self above.

        2. How can you see any wingnuts with your head buried so far up Obamas ass?

          1. You have it backwards Hyperion. I’ve said it before, Obama’s Buttfuck is a cockpuppet. Dear Leader thrusts magnificently upwards, and OB’s hands flop around on the keyboard randomly trying arguments.

            1. You should avoid drunk-posting.

              1. Seriously dude, stop talking to yourself in replies to other people. It just makes you look crazier than you already do.

                1. It just makes you look crazier than you already do.

                  Unpossible!

              2. You should just avoid posting period, until you want to stop pretending to be anything other than a totally shameless Obama apologist.

              3. Don’t be a teetotaling prude. Without drunk posting we’d have no h&r.

        3. without fail, you always remind us of your flawed notions about the political spectrum.

      2. But, they can always opt for that lovely token of fairness, coined by our genius in black robe, Benedict Roberts.

        And behind curtain number 2, the lovely Carol Merril reveals no health insurance, and a big fat penaltax suppository for you! So just smile, bend over, and take it!

        Yeah, that’s right, PENALTAX, BIATCHES!

        1. Boy, if the penal tax is assessed by inches I am going to be broke….

    3. With 23 employees this company is exempt from the ACA.

      But their insurance company isn’t. Idiot.

    4. Actually dumbass no he is not.

      He is exempt from the requirement that he provide insurance, which is rather irrelivant because he already does so. What he is not exempt from, because no insurance company is, is the requirements to provide specified minimum coverage levels which make the insurance more expensive than it otherwise would be.

  13. Today I met a man who had never seen Unforgiven.

    1. The last 20 minutes were the best I’ve ever seen.

    2. You should have kicked him square in the nutz, and when he replied “Hey! I didn’t deserve that!”

      You could calmly say, “Deserves got nuthin’ to do with it.”

      1. +2 achers

    3. I’d kill him, and his family, and all his friends…and I’d burn his house down…

    1. I came across a check made out to one Styd Klugie a few weeks ago. The name stuck with me.

      The personage to whom it presumably belongs has a checkered past, according to google.

      Yes, I googled a stranger’s name, but in my defense I’ve never googled a stranger name than his.

    2. Not quite as cool, but I went to school with a guy named Steel Solid.

  14. Just watched the last episode of Thrones.

    I would like to take this opportunity to officially state that I’m in lust with Rose Leslie and she is hereby added to my celebrity waiver list.

    1. You’re gonna show her your fancy roads?

      1. You know nothing, John Snow.

      2. She would most definitely get a “special” kiss.

    2. Keep in mind that the character you see her as in GOT is not Rose Leslie.

      I know some real life Y grittes who arent pretending. Stunning they are.

      1. Gladly pretend she’s Ygritte for a night. Die happy.

        She’s a cross between Emma Stone and a girl I dated in college. I like em’ touched by fire.

    3. she is hereby added to my celebrity waiver list.

      She’s one of the celebrities you’d let your spouse (or GF) sleep with? You generous man, you.

      1. Provided there was video, that would work as well.

  15. “If you employ fewer than 50 “full-time equivalent” employees, you will not be mandated to offer coverage in 2014. The FTE calculation considers full-time any employee who is scheduled or has worked more than 40 hours per week, averaged over a month. So if you have two part-timers who work 20 hours a week, they would count as one FTE.”

    This is a huge non-sequitur and I think it is wrong with respect to part-time employees being added up to make full-time employees.

    Don’t believe everything you read in BusinessWeak.

  16. Re: Alt Text.

    It is not a snake. It is a parasitic worm.

    They are still removed by slowly winding them around a stick to this day. They were called “fiery serpents” not because they were snakes, but because breaking or otherwise killing the parasite while under the skin would cause an allergic reaction resulting in a painful burning slash where the 2 – 3 foot long worm’s body lay. Hence the slow removal by stick winding.

  17. Bummer for those people. But, luckily for me, I like my insurance so I get to keep it.

    The president told me so.

  18. I have been a small business owner most of my life. This thing is mind boggling.

  19. I found it interesting that Ortner’s letter mirrors many of the same concerns our small business has and the situations we have faced, including having to switch from one carrier to another (Blue Shield to Aetna, in our case) to keep premium costs down, having to switch to different plans (tranditional plan to HSA plan under Blue Shield, then to a combination HRA/FSA with Aetna and finally back to an HSA with Aetna), and having doctors and doctor group stop accepting insurance from Aetna.

    The other point I wanted to mention is that last bit of the article about determining FT/FTE counts for the fluctuating employee situation is even worse for seasonal employers (e.g. agricultural, tourism, etc.) because the IRS has not provided a complete set of regulations for determining your status as a large employer if you have seasonal workers. For sesaonal employers, there is an exception to the 50 employee limit, but the proposed rules published on 1/2/2013 in the Federal Register are missing two key bits of information: how seasonal employers who want to use the “transitional relief” method for counting employees should modify the seasonal worker limit (which is 120 days for a full calendar year) and a method to calculate FTEs on a daily basis (which is needed to calculate your “workforce” to see how many days on which your company exceeds the 50 employee maximum).

  20. It is true that whether it’s a small or large business there have been lots of issues lies regarding health care cost. Health benefits are given by many small companies which definitely put extra load on their financial status. Yes there is BPM software present which helps employee to directly apply for compensation package. However, in some cases there are some forged also occur to take health compensation, hence it is important for business owners to structure their health policies in proper way, so that its load can’t impact their business.

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