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.
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.
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.
There are stark differences between the two presidential campaigns'
approaches to federal-state relationships. Differences range from the
amount of funding appropriated for programs run by the states to
whether the candidates would strengthen or weaken state regulatory
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.
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.
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.
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.