Finding Compromise in a Tough Healthcare Reform Debate - Page 4 of 5

Finding Compromise in a Tough Healthcare Reform Debate

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s Affordable Health Choices Act

Employer Mandate

Businesses that employ 25 employees or fewer will be exempt from the pay-or-play requirement to provide health insurance coverage.

Employers must pay at least 60% of the monthly premium of qualifying coverage or a penalty of $750 for each uninsured full-time worker and $37 per uninsured part-time employee.

Small Business Tax Credits

Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees who earn an average wage of less than $50,000 will be eligible for a program credit of up to $1,000 for each employee with single coverage and $2,000 for each employee with family coverage, depending on the size of the employer, with the potential for bonus payments of the employer contributes more than 60% of the premium.

Senate Finance Committee’s Proposal

Members of this committee are working to draft a bipartisan proposal. Currently, no decisions have been made, but according to a staff member, they are considering a tax credit to help small businesses purchase insurance coverage. The panel also is considering making employers that decide not to provide coverage because the exchange is available be responsible for paying the cost of the tax credit for each employee. Certain small businesses would be exempt.