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Reality Check: Chamber's Private Exchange

The North Carolina Chamber of Commerce is answering the call for help from its members who are facing rising health insurance premiums as a result of the Affordable Care Act.  The Chamber is creating a Private Exchange to accommodate small businesses searching for an affordable way to continue providing insurance to their employees. 

The government's Health Insurance Marketplace will only offer a limited number of plans that only cover major medical.  The private exchange will include plans for dental and vision and more options that meet the government's minimum standards.  The NC Chamber says health insurance costs are a significant part of small businesses expenses and they are on the rise, especially for companies now offering defined health coverage plans.  The Chamber's Chief Operating Officer, Jim Simpson says they believe "more employers will give up their defined plans" and move toward a lower cost exchange plan. 

Small business owners say the changes are making it harder to continue offering good insurance benefits to their workers.  Gordon Walton of One Who Serves says "the affordable care act won't help his situation" because he was already offering his employees an excellent coverage plan and now it will cost him more to continue to do the same.  He does, however, see some benefits coming out of exchanges for those who've traditionally gone without health coverage.

By Frank Fraboni


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