How Woodworkers May Benefit from Federal Healthcare

By Bill Esler | Posted: 10/27/2013 12:58PM


Bill Esler   The Affordable Healthcare program has taken a drubbing due to computer glitches. Hopefully now, as a business extension to the insurance program rolls out November 1, the website will run better.

This new insurance exchange, called SHOP, is specifically for small businesses. So it's worth taking a look at how the program measures up for small businesses like sole-proprietor woodworking business with a handful of employees.

Many woodworking businesses run with just a few employees, or just one employee - the owner. If you're such a self-employed woodworker with no employees, you can now get coverage through the individual Health Insurance Marketplace.

If you have a few employees or more, you can buy insurance through SHOP. And the government will underwrite a share of the cost.

"Obamacare will help small businesses with health-care costs, which have long been a source of anxiety," as financial columnist James Surowiecki points out. The reason: in current group plans, small businesses can face an "experience rating" based on a catastrophic health event for a single individual within the group. Once such an event hits, insurances companies can raise the rates.

"Insurance costs small companies 18% more than it does large companies," says Surowiecki. As a results, fewer than half the companies with under 50 employees provide insurance; and half of all uninsured workers work for small businesses, or are self-employed. 

"In fact, a full quarter of small-business owners are uninsured, too," he points out.

The ability of single entrepreneurs and start-up businesses with just a handful of employees to obtain subsidized health insurance could lead to the development of even more small businesses, he says, citing a study that estimates 1.5 million businesses could form as a direct result of readily available health insurance. 


About the Author

Bill Esler, Woodworking Network, WMS

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for overall content at Woodworking Network magazine, and related newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network Live conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He developing audience engagement programs using custom digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at or follow him on Google+.

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