Franchising Flummoxed by Obamacare

Franchises are flummoxed by the Affordable Care Act. The new healthcare law continues to evolve, leaving a lot of confused small business owners in its wake. Which aspects of the employer mandate are franchisees responsible for complying with? How can they remain solvent without reducing their workforce and losing valuable employees?


The IFA has created to help businesses understand their compliance responsibilities and share testimonials and stories about how they’re dealing with the process.


Regardless of your political inclinations the Affordable Care Act is a big deal. The mandated health care coverage is expensive and small businesses are struggling to maintain profitability– which includes franchises.


According to the IFA, over one-third of full-time franchise jobs could be cut back or lost completely due to the Affordable Care Act. That’s over 3 million jobs. While Obamacare doesn’t take full effect until 2014, owners of fast-food, restaurant and service company franchises are urging Congress to make major changes to the ACA in order to save jobs and keep them in business.


One of the biggest components of the healthcare overhaul that’s causing grief is the discrepancy as to what constitutes a full-time work week. Obamacare says 30 hours; while most in the franchise industry believe 40 hours should be the standard. If Congress doesn’t amend the law franchises will be forced to cut employee hours back to below 30 hours per week.


Franchise business owners aren’t the only ones facing higher costs as a result of the Affordable Care Act. A 2011 Hudson Institute study shows that the franchise industry could see its costs increase $6.4 billion, much of which would be passed on to consumers.