76. A Virginia Beach restaurant, Virginia
The owner of a Virginia Beach restaurant and catering company told Bloomberg that he has stopped hiring people to work full time and is even drawing back on part-time employees’ hours. “I can’t afford health insurance for everyone,” he said.
77. Jim’s restaurants, Texas
The San Antonio restaurant chain might be required to pay as much as $1 million more annually after Obamacare takes effect. In response, Jim’s, like many other companies, is considering a reduction in employees’ hours so it won’t have to provide them with insurance.
78. CiCi’s Pizza restaurants, Texas
Bob Westbrook owned the state’s three top-performing CiCi’s Pizza franchises but calculated that the costs of providing health care under the employer mandate would leave him about $78,000 in the red at the end of the year. Ultimately, Westbrook figured, it was most cost-effective for him to sell his franchises, after nearly 20 years.
79. Whole Foods Market
The CEO of Whole Foods may not know exactly what changes will take place when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, but he’s sure it will negatively affect workers. While he would like his company to continue offering health insurance to its employees, he said there might have to be a tradeoff in the benefits equation: “That just means there’s less we can pay for wages.”
80. Trader Joe’s
Even though it has previously provided health-care coverage for its part-time employees, an uncommon practice in the industry, next year Trader Joe’s will give employees who work less than 30 hours a week $500 to purchase a plan in the upcoming Obamacare exchanges. With federal subsidies and possible earnings from other employment, the company said, workers can find coverage that will be just as good. One employee described her soon-to-be lost coverage as “one of the best parts about the job,” and her reaction to hearing it would be dumped was “pure panic, followed quickly by anger.”
The New York–based grocery chain announced in July that part-time employees will no longer receive health-care coverage due to Obamacare. Wegmans previously offered insurance to part-time employees working at least 20 hours a week.
82. Trig’s Supermarkets, Wisconsin
Sixty-five percent of the 1,100 workers at the Wisconsin supermarket chain will see their hours reduced to below 30 per week. “Doing nothing was not an option,” an executive with the company said. “Within a year, it would have put us out of business.”
83. Waldbaum’s, New York
At least one of the New York City–area supermarket chain’s stores has told employees that they will now be part-time workers, with some seeing a reduction of 20 hours or more from their usual weekly total. Some of Waldbaum’s 100 employees affected by the change are now seeking second or third jobs, according to a local newspaper.
84. Royal Farms, Maryland
The company’s 146 convenience stores in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are transitioning to an almost entirely part-time work force, reducing even full-timers to fewer than 30 hours a week.
Small Local Businesses
85. Southern Hearth & Patio, Tennessee
Health-insurance costs have more than tripled under the Obama presidency, said the owner of Southern Hearth & Patio in Chattanooga. He’s had to offer smaller bonuses and lower pay raises because of the Affordable Care Act.
86. Tsunami Surf Shop, North Carolina and South Carolina
A manager for Tsunami Surf Shop told a local news station that the company will “have to control the shifts” from now on in order to ensure that employees are working fewer than 30 hours a week.
87. Kerns Trucking, North Carolina
The family-owned trucking company had to cut insurance benefits for 81 workers to avoid having to pay an additional $100,000 under the law’s tax.
88. AAA Parking, Georgia
Next year, AAA Parking will move half of its 500 full-time hourly employees (out of a work force of 1,600) to part-time employment. “Our executive team has spent extensive time evaluating the impact of this mandate, and the financial impact for AAA Parking is dramatic,” a company memo explained.
89. Circle K gas station, Georgia
An employee at the Savannah gas station told a local news station that a supervisor informed workers that they would now work a part-time schedule due to the mandate.
90. Maritz Research, Missouri
The business-research firm informed its 300 employees in July that, starting next year, the company would have to “proactively manage average hours worked on a weekly basis” and enforce a 25-hour threshold.
Premium Rate Increases
Individual-market premiums in the Golden State could jump as much as 146 percent, according to an analysis of the state’s exchange program by Avik Roy of National Review and Forbes. For example, the cost for a nonsmoking 25-year-old in California who purchases the second-cheapest plan on the exchange would go from $92 to $205.
Colorado’s cheapest health plans, which are generally geared toward younger people, are expected to rise dramatically in price next year, according to The Hill. Consider a nonsmoker under 30 years old. This year, this Coloradan could have purchased the cheapest catastrophic plan for $56 per month; next year, the cost is expected to climb to $135.
Florida regulators say the average premium for individuals will increase by 30 to 40 percent. For small businesses, the rates will be between 5 and 20 percent higher.
According to a study by the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, well over half of the state’s small businesses will see a rate increase, with some prices potentially doubling.
95. New Mexico
In a study conducted by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, by a team including our own Avik Roy, New Mexico was rated the state that would see the largest average hike in premium costs, at 130 percent.
The cost of the average health-care plan in Ohio is expected to nearly double under Obamacare, according to state insurance regulators. The Hill reports that an 88 percent increase will ultimately mean the cheapest plan on the market after the law goes into effect next year will cost about $280 a month.
In all but one of the insurance plans offered to Oklahoma state employees, premiums will go up by as much as 12 percent; the one plan that does not have an increase is the “cheapest, most basic health plan,” according to The Oklahoman. According to an administrator with the state’s Office of Management and Enterprise Services, a tax associated with Obamacare has led to an increase in the plans’ cost.
98. Rhode Island
According to the state’s health-insurance commissioner, the rate increase for large employers for 2014 will be about 10 to 12 percent, twice as high as the increase this year.
The analysis by Avik Roy and the Manhattan Institute indicates that Washington State residents across all age groups will see significant increases in their rates. Twenty-year-olds will see an average increase of 80 percent; 40-year-olds 50 percent; and 64-year-olds 59 percent.
The state’s health-insurance regulators determined that “premiums will increase for most consumers” in Wisconsin when the law goes into effect in 2014. Young residents will see an estimated 125 percent increase, while seniors will pay as much as 45 percent more.