Option One is to provide the insurance. According to the law, Ms. Shein will have to offer health insurance or, most likely, pay a penalty, and she estimates the insurance would cost up to $108,000 a year for 90 employees (managers have insurance already).
This is just an estimate, she said, because the insurance companies have not yet created and set a price on plans that meet the law’s requirement for minimum care, but she estimates a cost of $200 per employee a month, of which the bakery would pay half and the employee would pay half. Employees can choose not to participate in the plan if they are covered elsewhere or for other reasons, so it is unlikely they would all sign up.
Option Two is to not offer health insurance and let employees find coverage elsewhere, perhaps on one of the new government exchanges. Under this option, the company would probably have to pay the mandated “employer shared responsibility payment” to the government.
The cost to the business would be $2,000 per employee a year, but the law exempts the first 30 employees, so the total would be $130,000 per year for a 95-person company. One benefit of this option is that the company would not have to take on the burden or expense of managing the insurance plan, which Ms. Shein estimates would take $10,000 of staff time.