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How the Affordable Care Act Will Affect Truck Drivers and Small Business Owners

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The news is filled with headlines that discuss the upcoming implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The problems that have affected the new website relating to this plan have taken over the headlines, but there are additional concerns about how the ACA will impact truck drivers and small trucking businesses. Understanding what the impact of this act will be can help you make plans for a stable future.

Employer Mandates

The definition of a small business is often unclear because of the great number of factors that go into making the determination. However, the ACA states that a small business is any business that has fewer than 50 employees. This means that any company that employs 50 people or more must offer insurance to their employees. This includes trucking companies. Failure to do so will mean fines for the company. Because these companies are only required to offer insurance to full-time employees, this may cause trucking companies to cut back on hours for their drivers to force them into part-time status. In addition, the rising healthcare costs could cause trucking companies to lay off drivers and other employees to create a smaller workforce.

The Drivers

Many truck drivers, especially those who work independently, part-time or for small companies, may need to purchase their own insurance through the government network. Anyone who doesn’t have health insurance when the ACA goes into full effect on January 1, 2014, will be penalized. This creates issues for individual truck drivers. They must either buy insurance for themselves and their family, reducing their income, or face penalties. Even individuals who work for larger companies may find that their company has decided to eliminate insurance for their employees. This will leave drivers scrambling to get the coverage they and their families need.

The ACA was designed to improve healthcare and make sure everyone has access to the care they need. No matter what the outcome, it is important for truck drivers to prepare for the transition by checking into their options as soon as possible.