Proposed fix to ACA could allow people to keep current insurance

Published 11/12 2013 04:15PM

Updated 11/12 2013 06:02PM

SPRINGFIELD -- A small business owner says he's in a tough spot. He might have to stop providing healthcare for his workers or face thousands in extra costs. Millions of Americans stand to lose their company health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But, Congress says it's trying to fix the problem. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels has the story.

The House is set to vote on a bill later this week called the "Keep Your Healthcare Act." Basically, it means, if you currently have insurance, you can keep it, no strings attached. The idea could help a lot of people.

Kulovic Auto Body is a small operation. The company only has about a dozen workers and the boss, Tony Kulovic, says he likes to take care of them.

"It's actually pretty good insurance that they have here. Their deductible and their out-of-pocket expense is real low."

But, federally-mandated changes to healthcare plans could leave these people without benefits. Under ACA, plans have to be adjusted to meet new standards which, in many cases, drives up the price.

Kulovic says, to stay close to the same plan the company has right now, will cost the shop an extra $25,000 a year. It's an expense Kulovic says he's not sure his bottom line can handle.

"If we try and take care of some of the cost to the employees, or if we just kick them off altogether, it's going to be tough."

Congressman Aaron Schock (R) says he hears the same thing echoed across the state.

"The number of people who are being hurt far outweighs the people who are being helped."

So, Schock is hoping a proposal he's backing in Washington will help.

"If you have health insurance that you like, you can continue to buy that health insurance as it is presently."

If it becomes law, places like Kulovic Auto Body wouldn't have to face such a tough choice. The House is scheduled to vote on the measure Friday. It would still have to get through the Senate and the President to become law.

The Wall Street Journal says fewer than 50,000 people had successfully enrolled for insurance on The Health and Human Services Department couldn't confirm those numbers, but did say, due to problems with the website, enrollment was expected to be low. They aren't saying when the official data for the first month of open enrollment will be ready.

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