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Affordable Care Act's repercussions for big business murky

Affordable Care Act's repercussions for big business murky

By Jon Meerdink. CREATED Dec 10, 2013

MILWAUKEE - The Affordable Care Act will cause some changes for all types of businesses, but for the biggest businesses the future is murky. Will the offer insurance to everyone? How much will it cost? When will they really have to implement? All those things are up in the air, but they may not cause the huge changes some predict. 

John Barlament, a partner with Quarles and Brady, says the rumors of big sweeping changes may be overstated.
"I don't think it's going to have a dramatic impact on large employers," Barlament said.
Many things may stay the same, but under the Affordable Care Act, every business with more than 50 employees is required to offer some sort of healthcare option or face a penalty. That stipulation will cause the most changes and questions for employers.
"How do they figure out who is a full time employee?" said Barlament. "What level of health plan coverage do they offer to avoid that tax, and what are the related considerations?" 
While companies that pay high wages may not be affected, low wage big employers might change the way they look to hire.
"I think you will see greater efforts being made to either hire more part time employees or cut back on the hours of some full time employees," said Barlament.
But even with those considerations, Barlament doesn't anticipate the sweeping changes some have predicted.