DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as some call it, begins open enrollment Tuesday.
It's aimed at giving millions of Americans access to health insurance, but many people remain in the dark about how this new program works and how it will affect small businesses.
"Well the biggest thing I've learned about the Affordable Care Act is it's certainly not affordable," said Steve Staub, owner of Staub Manufacturing who make laser cut parts for a variety of industries from food vendors to the auto industry.
Staub says due to the Affordable Care Act, he may have to make precision cuts to the health plan he provides for his 25 employees.
He said he currently pays 80 percent of his employees health care costs but his rates have already shot-up nearly 20 percent., "When I called the company to ask why they said it's strictly to get ready for Obamacare," Staub replied.
Dave Freimuth of JBK Manufacturing, an aerospace contractor on Troy Street is in a similar position with his small business that employs 38 people.
His company provides nearly 90 percent of their employees health care costs. He said he's glad the Affordable Care Act will help the uninsured, but at what cost?
"Anytime the government gets involved the costs go up," Freimuth added, "Some companies in the industry are dropping health care plans all together and giving their employees a pay-off, letting them fend for themselves in the new health care market place."
Both feel increased health care costs will have to be passed along to their clients, which they fear may make American companies less competitive globally.
"Certainly there are a lot of our customers that are outsourcing to economies that don't have....health insurance problems like we have in the United States," Freimuth said.
To combat that problem, The Department of Health and Human services announced today that it is ramping up education and outreach efforts to small businesses by offering the Small Business Health Option program or SHOP.
Businesses with less than 50 employees, that buy health insurance through SHOP, may qualify for tax credits and reduced premiums.
It's also hosting educational webinars and have trained over 40,000 agents and brokers to help business owners learn more about cover ages available, both inside and outside the SHOP marketplace.
For more information about the SHOP program call 1-800-706-7893 or log onto Marketplace.cms.gov.
Resources are also available at Business.usa.gov/healthcare.
When police and firefighters arrived, Kettering Fire Lt. Craig Moore said the victim was trying to go back inside the burning home.
Assurant opened its new Dayton site this week but is still looking for workers to fill job openings.
It could be a big day in the on-going contract negotiations for Fairborn teachers and the school board.
The Tri-State's newest gambling establishment will throw open it's doors today at noon so you can throw down your money.
This year, they will help 13 families in need buy toys, clothing and other items.