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News & Press: WIPP Legislative Updates

Senate Committee Hears from Business Owners on Healthcare

Monday, July 20, 2015  
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Senate Committee Hears from Business Owners on Healthcare

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee heard from small business owners about the ongoing implementation of healthcare reform. The business owners worry they are not making the right decisions for themselves and their employees with regards to insurance.  Given the diversity of small businesses in the United States, the witnesses agreed the market must be more flexible. They also want the market to be more transparent, and easier to understand. Small business owners want to prevent their employees from having to make good economic decisions that are bad healthcare decisions.

Specific issues included age-related premiums, where business owners must provide each of their employees with a different premium rate based on their age. This is more work for the small business owner, and forces the owner to treat employees differently based on their age. Importantly, age-rating issues are not new and was a criteria in insurance rates prior to healthcare reform.

Other concerns included the use of healthcare savings accounts, or HSAs, and the uncertainty year-to-year about healthcare costs. These issues will continue as the small market is scheduled to expand to businesses with 51-100 employees in 2016.

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