Insurers Reporting Small Business Premium Increases Ahead
White House Announces Latest Change to Law
(Washington, D.C.) – As small businesses around America prepare to renew insurance policies for the year ahead, many are reportedly encountering significant increases in cost. While firms employing fewer than 50 people are not directly affected by the employer mandate, they are facing new regulations that are driving up the cost of coverage for their workers. Essential benefits such as substance abuse, pediatric care, maternity care, and others – along with community rating, guaranteed renewal, and coverage for pre-existing conditions – are forcing rates to rise. Insurance brokers in Nevada for example, are reporting increases between 35 percent and 120 percent for 2015. These developments are consistent with a recent report from the administration which concludes that about two-thirds of small businesses will see rates go up under the law.
Additionally, the White House quietly announced another unilateral change in the law – one that may save some people from the penalty imposed on those who do not purchase insurance. In recognition of the fact that enrollment has been so difficult for so many, the administration has again expanded the exemption from the individual mandate. Now only those who are uninsured for 8 months in 2014 will be forced to pay the tax penalty.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"The President has said that the debate about the new health care law is over. But that's not how our system works. In America, the people decide. And despite the constant cheerleading for a law that isn't working, it is more unpopular than ever.
It is far past time to listen to the American people – who clearly disapprove of the health care law. President Obama has said the law should be fixed – but has rejected every proposed change. Before premiums go up again, before a new Secretary of Health and Human Services takes charge, and before millions of Americans are forced to pay a tax penalty for not complying with the law's mandate – now is the time to consider changes that put patients first. It's time to work on changes that allow people to take charge of their health care – not government rules and mandates. It is time to reform the reform."