All Systems Go

All Systems Go

Federal health care moves forward, but insurance affordability remains an unknown

For business owners like Zennes Faljean, the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Obama’s federal health care overhaul marked far more of a beginning than a conclusion.

Zennes says his reaction to the court’s approval of the Affordable Care Act was twofold. “First was that I need to learn more about this for my own business and personal needs, but — and this might be even more important — I really need to know what to tell my clients,” he says.

Faljean has trepidation about both. The owner of Chico-based Faljean Management Group, a business consulting firm, he says the bulk of his clients are “micro-businesses, sole proprietors and mom-and-pops” that rarely are in a financial position to afford health insurance. It is a position he knows all too well: Faljean also forgoes health coverage for himself and his family. His wife, Tina, has faced serious health issues, including breast cancer, which make her all but impossible to insure — and certainly not for a premium he can afford to pay. Although hopeful the law will rectify his own situation, he remains wary.

“There is a strong perception among many business owners that any time we are forced to do something it means it is going to cost more,” he says. “But I’m withholding a final opinion until I learn a lot more about all of this.” (click to continue reading)

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