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      Employers prepare for Affordable Care Act

      Since the first day it was introduced in congress, the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare has been controversial.

      But whether you like it or not every person with a social security number will have to get health insurance unless you meet one ofthe three exemptions:- Qualifying for governmental insurance like Medicaid, CHIP or Medicare-Incarceration-Religious reasons

      Part of the Act requires employers to do their part by educating their employees on their options.

      A reason business owner Julian Mendez and 24 other employers decided to attend a workshop held Monday at the Cabrito Nuevo Leon Restaurant in McAllen.

      My biggest question was what do we as employers need to do by what deadline, Mendez said.

      A question Erika Morales who is with m&m Benefits Group answered.

      A lot of people have questions , Morales said. There TMs been a lot of confusion so we are trying to clarify that information.

      Employers have until October 1, 2013 to tell their employees about the Federal Exchange.

      That program allows employees to compare health insurance plans.

      Those who chose to get health insurance through the Exchange may be eligible for a subsidy.

      So my priority is just to inform them that this is an option, Mendez said.

      Changes include:-Every person must have health insurance.-By 2015, employers with 50 or more employees must offer some form of health insurance.-Health insurance provided must be affordable, it cannot cost an employee more than 9.5% of their income.

      While the changes can be confusing, Obamacare was passed to become a long-term solution to rising costs of healthcare.

      Well that TMs what they are hoping for, Morales said. That the costs of healthcare itself, for procedures will be reduced in the long run now that everybody TMs going to be insured.

      It TMs too soon to tell if that will actually happen, but if you don TMt enroll by March 31, 2014, you could face a penalty when you file taxes in 2015.

      The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will be hosting another workshop Tuesday September 17th at the Cabrito Nuevo Leon Restaurant at 11 am.

      If you would like to attend contact the chamber at 928-0060.