By Pat Loeb

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Small business owners in the Philadelphia area are being notified they have to change their employees’ health insurance policies, to comply with the Affordable Care Act. Notices went out this week from Independence Blue Cross.

Spokeswoman Judiemarie Thomas says, in a statement, “Blue Cross has been reaching out to its small business customers since July about how health care reform will affect their benefit plans but specific information went out this week to companies with fewer than 50 employees who provided insurance through the Blue Solutions plans.”

Thomas says Blue Cross has stopped offering those plans, in favor of a Blue Solutions portfolio — a choice of 37 different options which all have the minimum coverage required by the Affordable Care Act. She says some are more expensive and some are not. Thomas says Blue Cross is recommending to each business the closest match to their old plan. She declined to say how many businesses are affected.

Employers were supposed to be able to shop for alternate plans online but the small business part of has had even more problems than the individual portal.

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