So many businesspeople have told me they don’t know what to do regarding the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.
Scott Hafetz, early on, realized one thing to do: Write a book about it.
The purpose of his 138-page paperback, “Business Owner’s Guide To Healthcare Reform and Group Insurance,” is to inform and educate business owners on what to expect from the employee benefits consultant they choose to guide them.
Hafetz’s Linwood-based firm, Hafetz and Associates, represents about 2,600 client groups and more than 20,000 members throughout the state, with another office in Iselin, Middlesex County. He said he has been a health and life insurance consultant for about 30 years, and a general agent with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield for 20 years (the firm represents other carriers as well).
“The transition to Obamacare is so big and complicated, clients need all the help they can get,” Hafetz said.
The book also is intended to make potential clients aware of his agency’s services and generate new business, so besides making it available through Amazon, he’s providing it free to this column’s readers.
“If they reach out to us, we’ll mail them a complimentary copy,” he said.
Hafetz said he’ll use the book and a more concise e-book version called “Pay or Play” with social media marketing, and provide copies at speaking engagements around the state.
The first print run of 600 can be readily supplemented through Amazon’s print-on-demand capabilities.
He said writing the book was a significant challenge.
“I was halfway through it and said, what am I doing? Then somebody gave me a tip to do two pages a day, no matter how you feel. Still, it was a struggle,” he said.
He realized all along that with Obamacare constantly shifting, “it will need to be tweaked as we get direction from Washington.”
He said he stays as current as possible through memberships that give him access to attorneys following the healthcare rollout and through the National Association of Health Underwriters.
Hafetz and Associates, which moved in 2005 to a large, modern facility on New Road in Linwood, also has a Medicare department and medical billing advocates among its staff of 35.
Hafetz, 54, was raised in Atlantic City and worked in Las Vegas casinos after graduating from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He said that for about a decade he worked in insurance by day and at the casinos at night.
He and his wife, Kathy, have three children: Jordon, Brianna and Madison.
The uncertainty about Obamacare and its effect on businesses was evident in the latest survey of CEOs and CFOs at large New Jersey and Philadelphia companies by Alloy Silverstein Group, one of the larger accounting firms in the region.
Only 5 percent of executives said they were confident in the preparations for healthcare reform; 43 percent were slightly unsure; and 37 percent felt they didn’t have enough information.
Perhaps more interesting, 13 percent said they had an “other” response and expressed it in terms such as “very unsure,” “angry” and “disastrous.”
The quarterly survey also found:
n one-third of executives thought healthcare reform was their primary concern, behind 46 percent for job creation;
n fewer than half of executives support federal legislation to permit states to collect sales tax on Internet purchases;
n and 67 percent believe the country is in a slight recovery, although 27 percent the economy is still recessionary.
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