Tuesday, September 29, 2015

House Votes Unanimously to Repeal ACA Small Group Market Expansion

Classic.  Now that most of the 51-100 employee groups have begun taking steps to adopt an early renewal in order to prolong the misery that would come with the new Obamacare small group definitions, congress has finally acted.  This was greatly needed about six months ago.  But, we'll take it now: better late than never, I suppose.  Next we have to ponder whether our respective states will make the change, once it becomes a legal option.

In a unanimous vote, the House passed legislation today that would rescind the Affordable Care Act’s expanded definition of a small employer. The bipartisan bill has had strong support from employers and benefit industry insiders who feared the expansion could lead to premium increases and jeopardize the ability for small and mid-sized businesses to compete in today’s market. 
The benefit industry applauded the bill’s passage. 
“The Big ‘I’ is pleased to see this legislation pass the House of Representatives with such strong bi-partisan backing,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I’” president & CEO. “One analysis from the actuarial firm Oliver Wyman estimated that the effect of expanding the definition of the small employer would result in nearly two-thirds of workers in small to mid-size firms receiving premium increases in 2016. H.R. 1624 would protect small to mid-sized employers and employees at those firms from seeing significant premium increases that are anticipated due to the Affordable Care Act.” 
The ACA proposes that effective Jan. 1, 2016, the definition of a small group employer increases from 1-50 employees to 1-100 employees. The Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (PACE) would maintain the current definition of a small group market as 1-50 employees and give states the flexibility to expand the group size if they feel the market conditions in their state necessitate the change.... 
Emphasis added.