PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Transitional Health Coverage is Critical for New Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

By at 30 April, 2019, 3:25 pm

SMALL BUSINESS INSIDER

Why are Democrats Trying to Take Away Short-Term Health Coverage?

By Karen Kerrigan-

High health coverage costs remain a big issue for small businesses, and prohibit many people from starting a new business.  Entrepreneurship is a big risk, and for those who need to jump full-time into business ownership to make it work, it can often mean leaving a job where health insurance is provided. The good news is that there have been federal regulatory changes that are increasing health coverage options and lowering costs, especially when people need the financial flexibility during transition periods.

The bad news is that some in Congress want to roll back these reforms and prevent people from purchasing these affordable coverage options.

A bill has been introduced by House Democrats to repeal a favorable Department of Labor (DOL) rule regarding short-term, limited duration health plans. H.R. 1010, which has been advancing in key committees in the U.S. House, would essentially prevent the DOL from taking “any action to implement, enforce, or otherwise give effect to the rule” and stop the federal government from promulgating a similar rule.

So, the self-employed, entrepreneurs and their employees who cannot afford health coverage under Obamacare, may be denied this affordable option that is providing transitional coverage to many people who need it.

That’s just wrong.

Who wins when people are denied health coverage? Only the politicians who want to save every single line of Obamacare, no matter what the cost.

Millions of Americans still lack health coverage. Yet some in Washington want to mandate every aspect of health coverage, and dictate what they think is best. Unfortunately, one-size-fits-all does not work for most Americans.

And if H.R. 1010 is enacted into law many people will lose insurance and access to health care altogether. A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis found that 500,000 people will go uninsured if the DOL rule is reversed, meaning this transitional health coverage will become unavailable for people who want it. The CBO estimates another 500,000 would purchase non-group coverage through the Affordable Care Act (which means higher costs for these consumers), but would save the government money.

Why can we just let individuals and families buy what they want and what they can afford?

Short-term limited duration plans fill an important need in the marketplace, particularly when individuals and their families need coverage during career and work changes.  Many more people are cycling between full-time jobs and “gig” work, and temporary health insurance plans help fill the coverage gap at a reasonable cost.  Our regulatory system must take into account how people currently work, how they want to work if they have major life changes, or if they want to start a business. Insurance choices, like these transitional plans, provide Americans with the flexibility they need when there is a break in coverage, a need for gap coverage, or to pursue their dream of opening a business.

Some forecast that by 2027, more than half of the workforce will have been or will be independent contractors. In 2017, 57.3 million Americans (36% of the workforce) did freelancing work. Sometimes these turn into full-time businesses and other times freelancers cycle back into full-time jobs. Policies that make health coverage plans more practical, flexible and affordable should be something every politician supports.

When H.R. 1010 reaches the floor for a full House vote, every politician who says they’re for choices, entrepreneurship, affordable health insurance and access to health care must oppose the legislation.

Karen Kerrigan is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council 

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