Recently, my wife and I went to dinner with some friends who happen to own their own business and who always impressed us as being good businesspeople. Though they aren’t in the  HVAC trades, they are in the construction market — they do custom room design with a focus on offices, kitchens, and living spaces. For our friends, this has been their livelihood for nearly 40 years and they are very successful.

As the night went on, the conversation invariably turned to the topic of health care for their 20-plus employees. With all the hoopla over the cost of insurance and the dire need for health care reform, I truly expected to hear about how the Affordable Care Act was making their lives a little easier and saving them and their people some money.

Mike Weil, Editorial DirectorInterestingly enough, THAT is not what I heard. In fact, our friends told us that they’d spent a lot of time researching their options for using the Federal or State insurance brokerages and had spoken to consultants and their current insurance carriers about their options. Amazingly, no matter who they spoke to or what calculations they did, their insurance costs went up, not down. In fact, they told us that their costs were going to at least double.

I was floored. Though I’m not a supporter of what I call socialized medicine, I do believe there’s a huge need to reform our medical and insurance industries in an effort to bring upwardly spiraling costs under control. For me, such changes also include tort reform — which I believe could put an end to frivolous lawsuits and a cap on runaway punitive damage awards in medical lawsuits.

But that is only a dream. The reality is we have Obamacare now and we need to figure out how to make it work for us.

Step back a few weeks to when President Obama delivered his state of the union address to congress and the world. It was a great speech, as most state of the union talks are. In it, Mr. Obama stated that the Republicans needed to stop trying to repeal a law that the American public wanted — a law that provided insurance and health care to all Americans, with no precondition limits, and at an affordable cost.

Great words. Great speech. But they do not balance with what my friends say about their business.

Does it balance with you?

HVAC contractors may be in a different trade than my friends, but the concerns are the same. I’ve spoken to a number of contractors who either are unaware of the ins and outs of the Affordable Care Act, are confused by it, or are hoping that the plans they already have for their employees are sufficient.

Where do you stand on this? Have you found that if you comply with the Affordable Care Act that your costs will go up while the quality of the programs you provide are in decline? Or are the programs working for your company?

No matter where you are with the Affordable Care Act and its impact on your business, there are resources for you to check things out.

Comfortech 365

For example, Contracting Business.com and Contractor magazines have launched an online (virtual) edition of our Comfortech seminar series, which goes live on March 5th. We call this Comfortech 365 and have four speakers doing FREE webinars on a variety of topics that can help you better manager your business.

One of those speakers is Melanie Gentry from Comprehensive Employment Solution, LLC who will address the latest on Obamacare and its impact on your business. She spoke on this topic during the live Comfortech 2013 event this past September. She’ll now provide the latest details.

Just go to bit.ly/CT365Reg to register. It’s free. Who knows, Melanie just might have the information that will answer your health care questions and help you make the right decisions for your business and your employees.

So with this in mind, I put my initial question back to you: how much money is the Affordable Health Care Act actually saving you?

Please share your thoughts with me here, on Facebook, or Twitter.