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Rick Murray, CEO of Arizona Small Business Association, Arizona’s largest trade organization, says that typically, small-business owners tend to be more conservative politically than the rest of the general public. “So the idea of the ACA did not make very many people in the small-business community happy,” he says, adding that while some small-business owners “feel like they’ve been dealt a bunch of lemons, what I tell them is that this is the landscape we must live in. We, as small-business owners, are known for being nimble and adapting to changing environments—and this is one of those environments we need to adapt to.”

Murray advises small-business owners to become educated, stating, “There’s been a lot of misinformation regarding the types of plans that are out there, so it’s important to get ahold of a broker to help navigate your options and possibilities. There are many different ways to comply with the ACA without necessarily increasing insurance costs.”

Murray notes that one strategy he sees trending is for employers to explore the cost differentials between individual policies and group policies. “A lot of plans are cheaper for individuals than groups, so some employers may not offer a plan, but will reimburse their employees for their individual coverage,” he says. “From a cost-savings standpoint, it makes sense, plus it’s less complicated for the business owner. It also puts the onus on the policyholder to understand the types of coverage and costs.”

Rick Murray, CEO of Arizona Small Business Association
Phoenix, Arizona


“Businesses that have to comply with the ACA still have time to figure out whether to pay or play,” Murray says. “Small-business owners are smart; if there’s a way to figure out how to lessen costs, they’ll figure it out. It’s all about the bottom line; for some, it may be cheaper to pay the penalty than to provide services.”



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