Second Opinion is a weekly Q-and-A series that answers questions from San Diegans on the Affordable Care Act. Ask yours here.
The Question: Is it cheaper for a company of 50 or more employees to pay the penalty for not offering health coverage than to sponsor a health plan?
Rich Martindell started flying planes when he was 15. Now he works in San Diego’s aviation industry, teaching others how to fly and investigating crashes. (You may have seen him offering his expert analysis to local news outlets earlier this month when an Asiana aircraft crash-landed in San Francisco.)
Like most local industries, the companies that keep planes taking off from Montgomery Field in Serra Mesa – plane maintenance shops and fuel businesses – are trying to figure out what the Affordable Care Act means for them.
“They’re not Boeing,” Martindell said, but they’re big enough to fall under Obamacare’s employer mandate, which says companies with 50 or more full-time employees must offer adequate health coverage or pay a fine.