Employer Health Fees Scheduled to Rise in San Francisco

By Staff Report

Jul. 18, 2011

Employers with workers in San Francisco must pay more next year to comply with the city’s health care spending law.


Beginning on Jan. 1, 2012, employers with 100 or more employees in San Francisco will be required to spend $2.20 per hour per covered employee on health care, up from $2.06 in 2011. Employers with 20 through 99 employees will have to spend at least $1.46 per hour, up from $1.37, city officials announced last week.


Employers with fewer than 20 employees are exempt from the requirement, which uses the funds generated to provide medical services to the uninsured.

The spending requirement that applies to employees who work at least eight hours per week can be satisfied in various ways, including payment of employees’ health insurance premiums as well as contributions to health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements.


The 2006 law, which went into effect in 2008, has withstood attempts to have it overturned.


In 2008, after a challenge by a San Francisco area trade group, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the ordinance was not pre-empted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act. In 2009, the full appeals court declined to review the panel’s decision.


Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court also declined to review the appeals court decision.


Filed by Jerry Geisel of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email


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