Wednesday, October 02, 2013
As millions of Americans wait to see how the federal health exchanges shake out, some who’ve been hanging onto their jobs just for the insurance say Obamacare gives them a new reason to bid their old employers goodbye. And to run to the Internet to say HELLO!
One Arizona couple, Claudia and Joseph Schulz, just quit their jobs, in fact, and launched a husband-and-wife real estate team, largely because they can sign up this week for health insurance not tethered to any position.
“That was the fear before. We felt too much on our own,” says Claudia Schulz, 33, of Phoenix. “Now, if we’re able to make our dream come true of owning our own business, or at least giving it a shot, it’s worth it.”
Starting a business or retiring early will suddenly become an option under the new exchanges, experts say, especially for the many employees who have felt trapped by so-called “job lock” -- being stuck in a position because of the benefits, usually health insurance, it provides.
“The Affordable Care Act completely changes the playing field,” says Paul Fronstin, director of the health research programs at the Employee Benefit Research Institute. “You don’t need your employer any more for health benefits.”