California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday joined 11 other state attorneys general in suing the Trump administration over new regulations they say would mean employees of small businesses could get fewer health insurance benefits than required by law. The new rules were issued in June by the Labor Department, and fulfill an executive order signed by President Trump last October. They allow for the expansion of so-called “association health plans,” under which small businesses band together to provide insurance. The change means those plans do not have to comply with all the consumer protections put forth under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, such as essential health benefits. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It seeks to halt the federal rules, which Becerra said would lead to employers offering “junk plans.” The Labor Department said the plans will not deny coverage to people with pre-existing … [Read more...] about California sues Trump administration over small-business health policy
Small business health insurance california
Last Updated Sep 10, 2010 6:34 PM EDT Before most of the health insurance reforms of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) take effect in 2014, the tax credits already in effect for small firms that offer insurance will do little more than slow the erosion of coverage. But in the long run, if the state health insurance exchanges work properly, the savings for small companies and individuals may be much greater than expected. That's the take-home message of a new report from the Commonwealth Fund and an earlier paper that examined the impact of the ACA on the growth of health spending and insurance premiums. About 16.6 million people work in firms that will be eligible for the tax credit between now and 2013, according to the new Commonwealth Fund report. But only 3.4 million of those people are in companies that will take advantage of the tax credit, the report estimates. Here's another way to look at it: about 4 million firms are eligible, because they have under 25 employees and have … [Read more...] about Why the Next Few Years Look Grim for Health Coverage at Small Businesses
Last Updated Sep 17, 2010 8:16 PM EDT Kudos to Casey Coonerti Protti, owner of the Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif., for penning a lucid and insightful BNET post on the health insurance dilemma for small employers. As Protti points out, the Affordable Care Act does not provide tax credits to businesses like hers that employ more than 25 people; yet her operation is nowhere large enough to get the insurance discounts that her chain-store competitors win because of their size. The best solution for Protti and the many other business owners in her position is to do something that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would never propose: join together to force their states to create effective health insurance exchanges. Of course, some Republican-run states like Florida have no interest in the kind of health insurance exchanges envisioned in the federal reform legislation. They're still stuck in "replace-and-repeal" mode. But in California, where Protti lives, the legislature recently … [Read more...] about Small Business Owners: Lobby For Strong State Insurance Exchanges
Last Updated Mar 17, 2011 7:06 PM EDT Contrary to popular belief, it's starting to lookas though some states will band together to form regional health-insurance exchanges instead of going it alone. That's a big deal, since the exchanges are a centerpiece of the healthcare-reform law, and many states appeared unprepared to build systems that will help individuals and small firms find affordable coverage on their own. What's more, some state exchanges are going to include Medicaid as well as private insurance, which will make it much easier for people to move back and forth between state-assistance programs and commercial health plans. All of which suggests that the state/regional exchanges are emerging as a juggernaut that will be difficult to stop. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently disclosed a list of states that will receive "early innovator" grants to set up the IT infrastructure for their health insurance exchanges. Kansas, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, … [Read more...] about Don’t Look Now, but State Health-Insurance Exchanges Are Gathering Steam
Last Updated May 11, 2016 2:35 PM EDT Investors got an update last week on the progress of two giant health insurer mergers that, if regulators approve, will shrink the number of major insurers in the U.S. from five to three. On Friday Cigna (CI), the nation's fourth-largest health insurance company, which agreed to be acquired by Anthem (ANTM), the No. 2 health insurer, announced that the deal, scheduled to close by the end of 2016, may be delayed into 2017."In light of the complexity of the regulatory process and the dynamic environment, it is possible that such approvals may not be obtained in 2016," Cigna said in its first-quarter financial filing last week.Whether the Anthem-Cigna delay means the deal hit regulatory troubles is anyone's guess. It's no secret the Justice Department has been closely scrutinizing this and other deals because of antitrust issues.During Aetna's (AET) first-quarter earnings call late last month, CEO Mark Bertolini said the company is on track to close … [Read more...] about How will health insurer mergers hit Obamacare?