Healthcare alert! A bill with the potential to drastically change the way small businesses pay for health care coverage will probably go to Congress sometime before year’s end.
Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY) said he will reintroduce a small-business health bill to Congress sometime this year.
Why should you care? It includes provisions that would enable small business owners to merge together and buy health insurance for their respective employees.
The bill was shot down last year, and its supporters and opponents remain divided.
For small businesses that have watched healthcare costs jump steadily for years, the bill represents the help they need to afford coverage. With employer heathcare costs riding on the number of people enrolled, the bill would allow businesses to pool together (even across state lines) to share the risk and lower the costs through things like group rates.
But certain groups like the State Association of Attorneys General, the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association aren’t onboard with the bill.
Two of their major concerns:
- The bill would allow businesses to offer coverage that isn’t as comprehensive as some states require — meaning employees would be receiving “bare-bones” coverage.
- The bill would weaken the insurance market and increase what employees would pay for services not covered under an insurance policy.
Experts feel the concerns of these groups need to be addressed in the bill for it to have a chance of passing.
We’ll continue to track the progress of the small-business health bill in the upcoming weeks.