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Summit Focuses On Affordable Care Act

September 20, 2012, 5:00 PM by Hailey Higgins

Summit Focuses On Affordable Care Act

Hundreds of Sioux Falls business owners are getting more familiar with the Affordable Care Act.

Nationally, the number of people who will face a tax penalty for not buying the federally mandated insurance is much higher than first expected.

The non-partisan congressional budget office announced on Thursday that six million Americans are not following the law.

Hundreds of millions more will be buying into the Affordable Care Act through their employers. And on Thursday, KELOLAND business owners learned more about the plan and the changes.

To help navigate the changing health care landscape, nearly 200 people packed into the Washington Pavilion to learn what they'll need to do to put the new provisions in place. Among them is Kandy Jamson, from Howalt McDowell Insurance.

"It's very huge because nobody knows. It's unknown. No one has ever been through this before. And being able to come together and share resources back and forth, bounce ideas off each other, is what we will find value in," Jamson said.

Deb Fischer-Clemens has handled Avera Health's public policies and government affairs for ten years. She says health care providers have made changes since the law was signed, but the time is coming for local businesses to act.

"It's definitely complicated and I think the complicated part is because a lot of things are happening starting now," Fischer-Clemens said, after speaking at the event.

And the stakes are high. If they don't follow the rules, experts say business owners open themselves up to stiff penalties and even civil lawsuits.

And while many business owners are getting answers, others say there are still a lot they don’t understand.

"We don't know what we don't know. And if everything was a bullet point and we could check them off that they're done. But a moving target and they can't answer all the questions," Jamson said.

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