New federal legislation would clarify Obamacare

New federal legislation would clarify Obamacare.
New federal legislation would clarify Obamacare. | Courtesy of The White House
If signed into law by President Barack Obama, new legislation would clarify a provision within the historic Affordable Care Act, after the U.S. Senate approved the “Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act, sending it to the president’s desk just days after the House passed the same bill; the goal, said lawmakers, was to protect smaller companies from healthcare premium increases, because, prior to the Affordable Care Act’s enactment, an employer with 50 or fewer employees was considered a “small employer” and could purchase health insurance coverage in the small-group market.

The ACA revised this historical threshold upward, redefining a small employer as companies with 100 or fewer employees.

However, the revision was expected to result in significant premium increases for small to mid-sized employers due to the expansion of the small group market to include businesses with up to 100 employees.

H.R. 1624 amends the Public Health Service Act to redefine a small employer as one with 50 or fewer employees and gives states the option to expand the definition to include employers with up to 100 workers. Consequently, it allows states the flexibility to keep existing definitions of a small group market so businesses and their employees can keep their current healthcare plans, mitigating inevitable premium increases.

The Associated Equipment Distributors supports Congress actions for working in a bipartisan manner to send the bill to the president on Oct. 1.

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