In 2005, Matt Grove and his wife Annie took over the family business, a longtime bagelry in upstate New York called the Bagel Grove. The company, which Matt’s father opened in 1988, had always provided a health insurance policy to its employees. When Matt took over Bagel Grove, he decided to add a high-deductible plan as a second choice to his staff, despite the fact that costs were rising astronomically. However, the exorbitant rates cut into their bottom line and forced Matt and Annie to cut back on the plans they offered.
Before passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Groves wanted to cover more of the premium cost for their staff, but the rapidly increasing rates tied their hands.
Then health care reform passed.
Matt carefully studied the ACA’s effect on small business owners and learned about the health care tax credits. He qualified for the full credit of 35% and used the extra savings to increase the percentage of the premiums the business covers, from 50% to 65%. That’s essentially money in his employees’ pockets.
Matt believes offering health benefits is not only the right thing to do, but helps him retain and attract good employees—employee turnover costs the business money and creates headaches. The Affordable Care Act has made providing health insurance easier to accomplish, and Matt is also confident that future tax credits will enhance his ability to afford coverage.
“In the long run, I am hopeful that health care reform will create a culture that allows for basic coverage,” Matt said. “The tax credit is going up to 50% in 2014, and by the time that kicks in, we will pick up a higher percentage of premium costs.”