Huffpost Small Business

Obamacare May Raise Premiums For 11 Million Small Business Employees: Report

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US President Barack Obama waits for a meeting with the Democratic Governors Association in the State Dining Room of the White House February 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama spoke before he and US Vice President Joseph R. Biden met with members of the Democratic Governors Association. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images) | BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) — The new health care law may raise insurance premiums for 11 million small business employees and lower rates for 6 million others.

That's an estimate from a report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The report says higher rates are partly due to the law's requirement that premiums can no longer be based on a person's age. That has sent premiums higher for younger workers, and lower for older ones.

The estimate is far from certain, partly because many small businesses renewed their policies in 2013. Renewing before the end of the year allowed them to avoid higher premiums that went into effect Jan. 1, when coverage was required to conform to the law.

Also limiting the certainty of the estimate is the fact that the report looks at three specific provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Employers' decisions will be based on more factors, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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