The beginnings of affordable health care are starting to take shape.
But many are not sure if the health care plan they now have through the Church Health Center will continue to work for them after the Affordable Health Care Act is fully implemented.
They are not alone. Many Americans have no real understanding what Obamacare is all about.
"A lot of the people I talk to think they are going to get it but they don't think they are going to be paying for it," said Pat Carter, Olympic Employment Service. "They think someone else is going to pay or they are just going to get it. But they are going to pay one way or another. Some one is going to pay. It's not free."
So how does this affect a small business like Patrick's Restaurant in East Memphis? Well, they have fewer than 50 employees on staff so they don't have to provide health care insurance for their staff. But does that mean the staff does not have to provide health insurance for themselves?
As it stands now, they are covered by the Memphis Plan offered by the Church Health Center.
"If the employer wants to enroll their employees in the Memphis Plan, it is $50 for each employee and $25 for each dependent with a family cap of $125," said Jennie Robbins, Memphis Plan Director for Church Health Center. "The employer must pay at least $10 through the employees program and the employees and employer will work out the difference through payroll deductions."
The question is will these employees be allowed to continue to be covered by the Memphis Plan once affordable health care is fully implemented? Or will they face a fine this particular plan does not meet federal guidelines?
"I know as far as my business we are less than 50 employees so its direct impact on me as an employer is not significant," Mike Miller, restaurant owner. "This is really going to effect all of my employees cause they are going to be forced. I can't afford to pay health care for my 40-45 employees so they are going to be forced to go out and either buy insurance or pay the fine."
Because the Church Health Center also provides dental insurance and the Affordable Health Care Act does not, it could turn out that the Memphis Plan could stand in place of a federal plan.
Whatever happens the good news is the Church Health Center plans on being around to take care of the people who need help with health care.
"We're not sure what is going to happen with the reform laws once the landscape comes out," Robbins said. "It's ever changing and once you get a card that says here's your exchange. We're not sure what doctors are going to take the exchange, so were just going to fill the gap and that's what the Church Health Center will continue to do."
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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