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Strengthen Employer Responsibility for Health Care

Federal Health Reform Benefits for Early Retirees Begins on June 1st

One of the immediate benefits of the Affordable Care Act is the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.  Beginning June 1, 2010, this new reinsurance reimbursement program is available to group health plan sponsors who provide medical coverage to early retirees and their spouses, surviving spouses and dependents.

NH State Rep introduces bill to cut small business health costs, give employers more options

Concord - Rep. Jill Shaffer Hammond (D-Hills. Dist. 3) today introduced an innovative bill that would allow small businesses, non-profits, and their employees to purchase health insurance through the state employee health plan.  HB617 would help tens of thousands of New Hampshire residents and small employers by increasing their options in the insurance market.  The bill could reduce health insurance costs for business owners and employees who take advantage of the option to join the state employee plan.

A Simple Approach for Expanding Eligibility to Health Insurance

In New York State, 31% of uninsured residents are young adults between the ages 19 and 29. To help this population and reduce the state's uninsured rolls, Governor Paterson wants to require private employers to offer health insurance to workers' dependents who are between the ages 19 and 29.  The proposal would expand eligibility to some 800,000 uninsured New Yorkers and the Governor's Office projects about 80,000 would take advantage of the new rule. According to the New York Times, business groups appear to be supportive of the idea, which would not require employers to help pay for coverage, merely to make it available.

Court Upholds Employer Health Care Responsibility Policies

In a case with national implications for state health reform across the country, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week in Golden Gate Rest. Ass'n v. San Francisco upheld the employer responsibility provisions of the San Francisco universal health care plan.  The decision follows a preliminary decision earlier in the year that allowed the plan to be initially implemented.

Health Care for All: Policy Options for 2009

Download a copy of the report in PDF format here.  View the HTML version of the report here.

Businesses Failing to Provide Health Care to Pay Increased Assessments under MA Governor's Proposal

To close funding gaps in the state's new health care law and encourage more employers to provide health coverage for their employees, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick this week proposed raising an additional $33 million from employers with more than 10 workers who don't contribute at least one-third of workers' premiums within the first 90 days of employment and don't have at least 25% of their employees enrolled in insurance plans.  The plan would raise additional funds by assessing fees on insurers' reserve accounts. 

OVERVIEW

The great majority of employers want to provide health care benefits to employees and their families.  Despite a steady decline in the percentage of Americans with employer-based coverage, from 66% of Americans under age 65 in 2000 to 61% in 2004, employers still cover more than 158 million Americans, more than twice the number of Americans who receive Medicaid or Medicare.  Because of the financial contributions employers make to health care, ensuring strong employer participation in health care reform is a key priority.

Mass. Health Care Reform One-Year Later: Clear Successes and Challenges Emerge

One year after implementation, Massachusetts new health care law has dramatically reduced its rate of the uninsured by half, increasing coverage in both the public and private sectors for 355,000 previously uninsured residents, a new Urban Institute study published in Health Affairs shows.  The state has improved access to coverage but rising costs are a key challenge as the state moves forward.