Open enrollment to purchase health insurance plans for 2018 through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual marketplaces has started and there are some important changes for small business owners to note this year. If you’re a self-employed entrepreneur or have employees who need coverage through Healthcare.gov, check out these key facts about this year’s open enrollment below.
Tracy duCharme does not fit the traditional profile an entrepreneur. Tracy’s background is in the arts, and her experience with illustration and graphic design inspired her to open a branch of Color Me Mine, the world's leading paint-it-yourself ceramics franchise studio chain, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
After finding little success with traditional medical treatments for her struggle with ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the colon, Michelle Retik of Short Hills, New Jersey, discovered that adjusting her nutrition was the key to a happier and healthier life. However, Michelle had trouble finding snack foods that accommodated her dietary restrictions. As a professional pastry chef, Michelle took it upon herself to fill this void, and her passion project quickly became a successful business venture.
Starting a business and starting a family at the same time is no easy feat. Just ask Chanceé Lundy, a new mom who is also co-owner of Nspiregreen LLC in Washington, D.C.
“The cost of child care can be incredibly burdensome for small businesses, especially in large cities,” Chanceé said. “Since I had a child, I’ve had to be very disciplined in juggling my time–particularly because child care facilities where I live are very expensive and typically have a waiting list of one year or more. This can be crippling to a new business owner who did not foresee these issues.”
Alfredo Zendejas co-owns Accesorios Zendejas along with his wife, Leticia Sanchez, in Los Angeles, California. A true mom-and-pop enterprise, Alfredo and Leticia work together to design, create and deliver custom decorative pieces for quinceñeras, baptisms, weddings and other special occasions.
To say that Columbus entrepreneur Victoria Calderon wears many hats is an understatement. In addition to co-owning two successful businesses with her sister, Virginia Nunes Gutierrez, Victoria is a marketing expert, policy advocate and published author with more than 10 years of experience in the media, corporate, non-profit and small business sectors. Victoria is also a first-generation immigrant from Venezuela who is fluent in Spanish, English and Brazilian Portuguese.
Despite months of speeches, speculation and tweets suggesting that the federal government would not continue to provide critical payments that support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces, President Trump still has yet to announce a final decision on the future of cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs), which help reduce out-of-pocket healthcare costs for low and moderate-income enrollees.
As a small business that specializes in healthcare benefits, Benefit Management, Inc. (BMI), a third party insurance payer located in Joplin, Missouri, is quick to recognize the importance of employee wellness. That’s why they were so excited to participate in our Healthy Business, Healthy Community Workplace Wellness Challenge this summer.
Around the country, small business owners are struggling to find qualified employees. In fact, some 40% of American employers cite lack of skills as the No. 1 reason for entry-level job vacancies, especially among young job candidates. Meanwhile, the youth unemployment rate in our country remains considerably high after the aftermath of the Great Recession. Though some small businesses may want to help address this problem while identifying potential talent, they often don’t have the resources to sponsor an internship or mentoring program.
Our Healthy Business, Healthy Community Workplace Wellness Challenge has recently come to an end in Missouri, and we’re celebrating its success! The Wellness Challenge inspired many of our small business participants to commit to healthier habits, like eating right and exercising, all while participating in fun activities and interacting with other local businesses.
If you haven’t followed along with us during the Wellness Challenge, read on below for a recap!