Entrepreneurs: Health Law Changes May Mean Finding New Jobs

Stay in business for yourself or go back to working for someone else? That's the choice some small business owners and freelancers are worried they may have to make, depending on what changes Congress makes in the health care law.

With Republicans working on legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, people who traded a full-time job for entrepreneurship are concerned that new insurance policies may be too expensive or not available at all -- and possibly force them to find new jobs that offer cheaper and more comprehensive group plans.

"From a safety and stability standpoint, I have to look for a job now," says Michael Duffield, owner of Fruition, a marketing business based in Palm Springs, California, that he started in 2011. He's the sole owner, without employees.

Duffield, who has high blood pressure and a pacemaker, buys individual coverage that he's happy with on the state insurance exchange. He's worried that under a new health care law, coverage might cost more than he can afford. And while GOP lawmakers and President Donald Trump have said they want a new law to keep the ACA's requirement that insurers cover pre-existing medical conditions, Duffield is anxious about what coverage might look like in the future.

"I don't feel safe at this point without actual insurance, and I don't know how safe I feel that my insurance is going to continue," says Duffield.

Health insurance is one of several considerations when people think about starting a business. For many, leaving a job with a group insurance plan, especially one that their employers contribute to, means they'll have to buy individual policies that are more expensive and may cover less.

The ability to buy individual insurance on exchanges in each state helped some of Merredith Branscombe's clients decide to leave their jobs for entrepreneurship.

"They felt...

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