Bartels says an IT department with 100 employees might be at risk of losing one or two thanks to the health care law, but even that estimate might be too high.
While Obamacare may lead to an increase in start-ups, there's another side to the coin. Once a start-up nears 50 full-time employees -- the threshold for taking on insurance coverage responsibilities under the law -- it might prompt the company to shift people to part-time work and rely more on outsourced contractors, said Bachenheimer.
HourlyNerd, a company that makes MBA students and graduates at the top 20 schools available for contract work, expects the law to increase demand for its services, said co-founder Peter Maglathlin.
Maglathlin said there is already a lot of economic uncertainty, which is deterring hiring. Adding the requirements of Obamacare into the mix, "makes it even harder to rationalize hiring someone full-time," he said.
Shawn Jenkins, founder and CEO of Benefitfocus, a company that provides cloud-based health benefits systems to employers and recently went public, said Obamacare could allow workers to be mobile.
"I think it could absolutely free people up to do their own thing," said Jenkins.
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