NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The so-called individual mandate aspect of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect on Oct. 1.
As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond continues her 10-part series, Understanding The Affordable Care Act, she met with a Brooklyn restaurant owner who plans to insure his employees through the online health care exchange for small businesses.
George Weld, the owner of Egg and Parish Hall restaurants in Williamsburg, will take advantage of New York’s Small Business Health Options program for businesses with less than 50 employees.
“Restaurant work is pretty difficult and it’s challenging on you physically and it’s not work that you want sick people doing. So of all businesses, I think it’s one where insurance should be a pretty high priority,” Weld told Diamond.
Weld already offers insurance and some employees like Suzanne Zuppello, the restaurant’s operations manager, pay a $200 premium for it. But most of his other employees can’t afford that.
“This is going to be trial and error. This is something that’s never happened in the country before and it’s a huge and necessary step,” Zuppello said.
Weld will be eligible for tax credits to bring premiums down, but offering health insurance means spending less on things like furniture and decor.
“There’s definitely going to be pain involved initially for us and for a lot of other people just in terms of rejiggering the way you think about things and looking at how you’re spending money. But I just can’t see how having a better insured population can’t help all of us,” Weld said.
In Part 8 of the series on Wednesday, Diamond will take us into a new emergency room that’s helping reduce Medicare costs at one New York City hospital.
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