PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

50 Business Groups to U.S. Senate: Preserve Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits

By at 9 June, 2017, 9:09 pm

SBE Council joined more than 50 business organizations and signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urging them to protect the employer-sponsored health insurance system by repealing damaging taxes and preserving improvements to consumer-directed health options proposed in the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA).

The letter urged the Senate to fully repeal the 40 percent “Cadillac” excise tax on employer-sponsored health insurance, and to consider other AHCA provisions, including repealing ACA taxes on fully-insured health insurance plans, branded pharmaceutical products, and medical devices.

The letter stated, “Protecting employer-sponsored health benefits by repealing the ‘Cadillac Tax’ and not imposing new taxes on the health benefits of working families is critical to the viability of this country’s health care system.”

The organizations also asked the Senate to preserve changes the AHCA would make to consumer-directed health savings accounts that would help plan beneficiaries, including: linking the annual HSA contribution limit to the maximum out-of-pocket limit, fixing the HSA catch-up contribution glitch, creating a grace period in between HSA-qualified plan enrollment and establishment of an HSA, eliminating the cap on Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs), and allowing the use of tax-preferred health accounts to purchase over-the-counter medications without a prescription.

The letter laid out several proposals for the Senate to consider when crafting their health care bill, including:

• Ensure that an HSA-qualified health plan can offer first-dollar coverage, or waive beneficiary costs, for products and services likely to prevent catastrophic costs later;

• Completely separate excepted benefits (like telehealth and onsite medical clinics) from HSA-contribution eligibility; and

• Streamline rules for rollovers from other accounts to HSAs, while simplifying rules relating to which dependents’ costs can be covered from the primary insured’s HSA.

Click here to read the letter in its entirety and for a complete list of participating organizations.

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