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As a professional in the business world, you are likely aware that the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also referred to as Obamacare) is not without costs, but some are more apparent than others. Among the obvious requirements, individuals must purchase health insurance or pay a penalty for non-compliance, unless they are exempt. Additionally, employers that are subject to the law must offer health insurance to employees and their dependents or be faced with a penalty.

One of the hidden costs of Obamacare is the administrative drain. The tracking and paperwork burden that has fallen to businesses can cost thousands of dollars and countless hours of productivity. Small businesses have been hit particularly hard, as they were typically operating on a tight margin even before the new law became effective. Now, they are drowning in the paperwork that is required to track workers’ hours, the business’ liability for health insurance premiums, and the resulting cost calculations. Those that choose to outsource the new administrative burden to human resources providers and payroll services save on time, but still have to pay for those extra services. According to a survey by the National Small Business Association, ACA compliance costs small businesses $15,000 per year on average.

While painful for the businesses that have to comply, these new burdens present opportunities for recruiters. One way or another, compliance requires hiring. Some companies will add additional HR or payroll personnel to their core staff, and other companies may simply hire contractors to handle their paperwork overload.

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