Owner of “Think Possible” doesn’t want to think about possible ACA repeal
Michelle Mauricci, a true entrepreneur, has owned not one, not two, but three small businesses. Her current business, Think Possible, located in Reno, Nevada, is a personal business-consulting firm that helps entrepreneurs navigate their health coverage options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), among other services. Michelle also receives her own coverage through the ACA’s individual marketplace, and credits the healthcare law with allowing her to follow her entrepreneurial dreams. However, since Michelle has two pre-existing conditions, she is uncertain what the future will hold if the Senate succeeds in passing their plan to repeal and replace the ACA.
Prior to the passage of the ACA, Michelle had trouble finding health coverage due to her pre-existing conditions, Bertolottis Syndrome and endometriosis. She was able to intermittently receive coverage through an employer, but her healthcare still cost 25-30% of her annual income.
Worse still, Michelle was forced to go without insurance at one point because she was continuously denied coverage. In an attempt to minimize her soaring medical expenses, Michelle would let her conditions go untreated. In fact, she was forced to postpone needed surgeries, which have caused her additional health issues and added costs in the long run.
But after the ACA was passed, Michelle was able to leave her 9-5 job and enroll in the individual marketplace. Gaining access to affordable coverage despite her pre-existing conditions allowed Michelle to start her businesses, and she made it her mission to help other aspiring entrepreneurs do the same.
She says, “While the ACA does a lot to help small employers, business owners often need clarification about how they can benefit from the healthcare law. Many parts of the law can be confusing and if the business does not have someone like me to help interpret and connect them with the right broker, they’re not getting the best coverage available.”
Although Michelle currently runs Think Possible on her own, she previously helped run a business that employs twenty people. The business was able to take advantage of the small business tax credit available under the ACA, which helped make coverage more affordable for their employees.
“The ACA has been a godsend. My consistent and reliable coverage has relieved the worry of whether or not a doctor will see me, which has allowed me to remain healthy and completely focused on my small business ventures,” she says.
However, this coverage is now in jeopardy. After working behind closed doors last month, Senate Republicans have finally released their plan to repeal and replace the ACA. As predicted, the plan will throw the insurance market into further chaos, and make it more difficult for small businesses owners and their employees to receive coverage, especially for people like Michelle. It would also repeal cost-sharing subsidies and the small business tax credit that has benefitted countless small businesses.
Michelle says, “Before all of the uncertainty surrounding repeal, the ACA marketplaces were stable. However, insurance companies now have few options or incentive to remain in the marketplaces, not because the law is failing, but because of lack of support from the administration.”
She hopes that the Senate will listen to small business owners, and work to improve the ACA instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.
“We should make the law work for as many people as possible. And the ACA is already on a better track to do that than the House or Senate’s replacement proposals," she says.
Michelle joins countless business owners around the country who are actively campaigning for Congress to uphold the ACA, and you can help. Stand with other small businesses by signing our "Small Biz Say Keep Our Care” pledge.