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September 24th, 2012
GNYCC/BALCONY Sept 20th Forum
The Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY) and the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce (GNYCC) held a highly informative and well-attended forum explaining the impact and benefits of the Affordable Care Act on Sept. 20 at the New York Hilton.
(left to right)
It was the latest forum on key issues facing New York businesses, sponsored by BALCONY, GNYCC and the New York Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, examining the Act’s impact on small businesses and how they can take advantage of available tax benefits and lower insurance costs.
(left to right)
GNYCC President Mark Jaffe and BALCONY Director Lou Gordon welcomed a group of expert panelists and about 100 audience members at the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce Business Fair.
(left to right)
In opening remarks, Gordon explained how the ACA would “provide healthcare for 33 million uninsured people, guarantee the affordability coverage and even close the Medicare donut hole.”
(left to right)
Noting that a BALCONY survey found 80% of small businesses said they would offer employees health care if it wasn’t so expensive, Gordon said the ACA would also provide coverage in the uncertainty of today’s job market.
“The Affordable Care Act will allow you to have health coverage when you leave a job for whatever reason,” he said.
Panelist Elisabeth Benjamin of the Community Service Society said the ACA would set up a Health Insurance Exchange to lower costs and would provide New York State with more federal dollars for health care.
“When you have a large group getting together to buy insurance, your rates will be lower,” she said. “And New York will get a great windfall of money from the federal government just for extending Medicaid coverage to poor people.”
She also praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo for making sure New York will have a Health Insurance Exchange. “When the Legislature wouldn’t act on creating an Exchange, Gov. Cuomo, to his credit, created one by Executive Order,” Benjamin said.
She said state officials are already taking the initials steps toward implementing the Exchange, which is expected to be open for business in 2014.
Experts say the Exchange could mean 7% in savings for small businesses through a Shop Exchange that which would provide “one-stop shopping” for businesses to check insurance prices and choose a plan best-suited to their employees.
Ben Geyerhahn of the Small Business Majority, said tax credits could be available for families of four earning less than $90,000. Small business (fewer than 25 employees) with employees whose average wages are less than $50,000 a year, and have half of their premiums covered by the employer could be eligible for tax credits.
Non-profits will qualify for tax credits for up to 25% of the employer contribution from 2010-2013. In 2014, eligible small businesses buying coverage through the Exchange will receive credits for up to 50% of the employer contribution, while non-profits could qualify for credits of up to 35%.
NY State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) said the ACA is a big win for small businesses and for workers.
“This is the beginning of a giant attempt to increase the number of people who can get quality healthcare at affordable rates,” she said.
Robert Hayes, BALCONY Co-Chair, VP of Universal American explained how the Affordable Care Act will improve the delivery of health care for seniors via the Medicare program and will result in a closing of the infamous “ donut hole” for prescription drug cover for seniors.
Additional resources, including more details about the tax credits and what the ACA means for small business can be found on the BALCONY website at:
Or by calling Mark Jaffe, GNYCC (212) 686-7220 or