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Dreading Obamacare, CFOs Plan for Perils (09/10/12) David McCann

President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has drawn the ire of some financial officers who claim the changes required by the law will levy a heavy financial and logistical burden on companies. The act, which requires employers to offer health care benefits to all employees who work over 30 hours per week and fines those companies that do not, will have most changes come into effect in 2014. Richard Ramos, chief financial officer at Maritz, a provider of employee motivation, incentive-travel, and customer-loyalty programs, says the increased cost of providing health care could easily outweigh the imposed fines for noncompliance, especially with 2012 health care costs through May increasing 16% from the same period last year, according to a study conducted by the company.

Tom Gillespie, president and financial overseer at Access Receivables Management, a collection agency, says he thinks the act will force smaller companies to provide lower levels of care for employees and reduce the number of permanent employees. In addition to this, he thinks it will result in the reduced hiring of employees over age 50, as insurers typically charge more for insurance when the average employee age at a company passes a certain threshold.