NHPR : Nancy Clark had high hopes when the federal insurance marketplace opened for business Oct. 1. A member of the NH Health Exchange Advisory Board and a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act, Clark owns Glen Group, a small advertising agency in North Conway. She’s always offered health insurance to employees and their families, even as premiums increased by double digits every year.
Until now. When Anthem told Clark premiums for her eight employees would go up 39 percent in 2014, she checked out the plans available through the Small Business Health Options Program, where companies with fewer than 50 employees can shop for group coverage. Those plans were less expensive, but would still increase Clark’s premiums by 14 percent. Clark then compared the price of individual policies available at Healthcare.gov to what she currently offers. She figured she could save 13 percent, or about $15,000, by discontinuing her group plan. She told her employees to pick a policy offered on the marketplace, and she’ll increase their pay to cover half the cost of the premiums.