Area employers attend educational Affordable Care Act seminars - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Area employers attend educational Affordable Care Act seminars

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Implementation of the Affordable Care Act has already been delayed once for employers across the U.S., pushing it back another year.

A local insurance company hosted seminars Thursday to educate employers about what Obamacare could mean for their business, addressing changes and questions they say are better answered now, than later.

A lot has been said about the Affordable Care Act since it was first signed into law three years ago and at least one general consensus remains: "There is just so much confusion," said Richard Walton, risk consultant for NCW Insurance.

"I had a lot of questions," said Charles Leard, owner of M&R Liquor. That's why NCW Insurance hosted two seminars Thursday for local employers to answer questions about the Act and what they need to do to prepare. "A lot of the reason they're here is just talking about the reporting requirements and regulation and just the requirements of reporting to the government," said Walton.

Many smaller businesses are also concerned about the financial drain mandatory insurance coverage for all employees will have on their business. "I think health insurance is necessary for any employer/employee relationship if at all possible, but to force somebody to do that, I don't agree with that," said Leard.

But like it or not, the deadline is coming and so are the changes, making the goal of Thursday's seminars not just to answer questions but also give employers the right questions to ask. "If nothing else, it gave me some answers and gave me the right questions to ask," said Leard.

"I would highly encourage business owners to not wait until December 31st to start making decisions," said Walton. "You need to be talking with your broker, and insurance agents, talk to someone you trust."

Barring another delay for employers, the individual mandate for businesses will go into effect on January 1, 2014.

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