A Society of American Florists-backed bill that would allow small businesses to help pay premiums and other out-of-pocket costs associated with medical care and services for their employees is one step closer to passage.
On June 22, the House approved The Small Business Health Care Relief Act (H.R. 5447). The next day, the Senate began a process to expedite consideration of the bill.
Proponents of the bill say it will help employers struggling to comply with the Affordable Care Act. That law made it illegal for small businesses to assist their employees with health care expenses unless it was through a federally-approved health care insurance plan.
“Prior to the enactment of the ACA, many small business owners who wanted to help their employees pay for their medical care or reimburse them their health care expenses could do so through a Health Reimbursement Arrangement,” explained Shawn McBurney, SAF’s senior director of government relations.
“The Small Business Health Care Relief Act will allow small businesses to provide HRAs to once again help their workers and families pay for premiums or other medical expenses,” McBurney said. “This provides small employers with additional flexibility and allows those small companies — the majority of whom do not have human resource departments or benefits specialists — a simpler, easier way to help their employees with rising medical costs.”