Benefits

Senate Panel Stiffens Employer Fees in Health Care Reform Bill

By Staff Report

Oct. 2, 2009


Employers that do not provide health insurance or provide coverage that is not considered affordable would lose a tax break under an amendment to a health care reform bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee.


Under the reform measure put together by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, employers not offering health insurance would be assessed a fee to partially offset premium subsidies provided to lower-income employees who purchase coverage through state insurance exchanges that would be set up under the bill.


The fees—based on the cost of those subsidies and subject to an annual cap of $400 times the total number of a company’s employees—also would apply if the premium charged by an employer exceeds 10 percent of an employee’s income and the employee obtains coverage through an exchange. The fees would apply only to employers with more than 50 employees.


Under an amendment proposed by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, and approved Wednesday, September 30, by the Senate committee on a 14-9 vote, employers would not be allowed to take a tax deduction for those fees.


Revenue generated by eliminating the tax deduction for such fees would be used to offset revenue lost from another change included in Nelson’s amendment—individual tax deductions for medical expenses.


Baucus’ proposal would allow individuals to deduct medical expenses only if they exceed 10 percent of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income, up from the current threshold of 7.5 percent. Under the Nelson amendment, the 7.5 percent threshold would continue for taxpayers age 65 and older, while the 10 percent threshold would apply for everyone else.



Filed by Jerry Geisel of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.


Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.

What’s New at Workforce.com?

blog workforce

Come see what we’re building in the world of predictive employee scheduling, superior labor insights and next-gen employee apps. We’re on a mission to automate workforce management for hourly employees and bring productivity, optimization and engagement to the frontline.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Benefits

What is Earned Wage Access (EWA)? A Few Considerations

Summary Earned wage access (EWA) programs are an increasingly popular way for employees to access their...

benefits, earned wage access products, payroll, time and attendance

workforce blog

Benefits

EEOC says that employers legally can offer incentives to employees to get vaccinated in almost all instances

If you’re an employer looking to get as many of your employees vaccinated as possible, you can rest eas...

ADA, CDC, COVID-19, EEOC, GINA, pandemic, vaccinated

workforce blog

Benefits

Fixing some common misconceptions about HIPAA

Ever since the CDC amended its COVID-19 guidance to say that the fully vaccinated no longer need to wea...

COVID-19, health care, HIPAA, human resources, wellness