Examining the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Small Businesses and Industries in Northwest Indiana

Onias Muza Taruwinga, Purdue University


This research examined the lived experiences of small businesses in Northwest Indiana with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The interviews were conducted over a period of six months with an attempt to answer the question, “What was the impact of the Affordable Care Act on small businesses and industries in Northwest Indiana?” Additional research questions were, “Did the Affordable Care Act extend coverage to the uninsured, include other medical services that were not covered before, and reduce cost sharing and what lessons can be learned from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act for future policy implementation?” 15 participants from Northwest Indiana were interviewed separately for 30 to 45 minutes each. Based on the analysis of data from interviews and observations, seven major themes emerged. These included the old system needed to be fixed, the Affordable Care Act made things worse was a form of government interference, it increased premiums, resulted in fear, frustration, and confusion, had positive outcomes, and eliminated pre-existing conditions. The outcomes of this study confirmed that while the Affordable Care Act helped some people obtain health insurance by eliminate pre-existing conditions, there is a strong indication that it also resulted in some unwanted consequences. This contribution includes suggestions for future qualitative study on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on small businesses.




Naimi, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Health sciences|Health care management

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