Big “I” Applauds Senate Passage of Small Group Health Insurance Bill
Legislation would change ACA definition of small employer.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 1, 2015 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today expressed its gratitude for the U.S. Senate’s passage of H.R. 1624, the “Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act.” The House passed the bill on Monday, so now it heads to President Barack Obama’s desk to be signed into law.
“The Big ‘I’ is pleased to see this legislation pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “Analysis from the actuarial firm Oliver Wyman estimates that the effect of expanding the definition of the small employer would result in nearly two-thirds of workers in small to mid-size firms receiving premium increases in 2016. H.R. 1624 would protect small to mid-sized employers and employees at those firms from seeing significant premium increases that are anticipated as a result of the Affordable Care Act.”
In 2016 the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is scheduled to expand the definition of the small group market to include all employers with 1-100 employees—adding employers in the 51-100 employee category. H.R. 1624, the “Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act,” would redefine the small employer as one with 50 or fewer employees and give states the option to expand the definition to include employers with up to 100 employees.
“The Big ‘I’ is grateful for today’s Senate action on this common-sense legislation that addresses a significant flaw in the Affordable Care Act,” says Charles E. Symington, Big “I” senior vice president for external and government affairs. “Enactment of this legislation is vital to keeping small to mid-size businesses from seeing significant premium increases and appropriately gives states the authority to determine the small group market definition in the future. We urge the President to promptly sign this important ACA change into law.”
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 more than 250,000 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.
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