WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 8, 2015 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 30, the “Save American Workers Act of 2015,” by Rep. Todd Young (R-Indiana) which would change the definition of a full-time employee (FTE) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to an individual who works 40 hours per week.
“Independent agencies serve many clients who have struggled with the implementation of the employer mandate, particularly the 30-hour per week definition of a full-time employee,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “Implementation of the employer mandate has caused many businesses to face the prospect of great financial strain or contemplate dropping their health care plan altogether. The Big ‘I’ believes H.R. 30 is a common-sense fix that would provide some relief for job creators and is grateful to Rep. Young for leading the charge on this important matter and appreciative of the House action today.”
Originally slated to take effect in 2014 in tandem with the individual mandate, the employer mandate is now being phased in starting on Jan. 1, 2015. In 2015, the mandate will require businesses with 100 or more FTEs to provide affordable (premiums no greater than 9.5% of income) coverage of at least a Bronze-level plan equivalent (60% actuarial value) to its employees. Starting in 2016 the mandate will affect all businesses with 50 or more employees. While the provision has many problems, the most glaring concern is that the definition of an FTE is an individual who works an average of 30 hours per week as opposed to the traditional 40 hours per week.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.