SAF met with a senior Trump Administration official and discussed the concerns about health care insurance choice and affordability faced by the floriculture industry.
SAF noted that it was determining the feasibility of creating an association health plan for its members after the administration issued a rule that made it easier for small businesses to band together and do so.
During the meeting, SAF was informed that the administration will issue a proposed rule on October 29 which will allow employers to assist their employees in paying for health care expenses.
Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many small business owners who wanted to help their employees with their medical care expenses but could not afford to offer them insurance could do so through a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA).
As noted in the April 15, 2016 Week In Review, the ACA prohibited such assistance.
The proposed rule is the latest action prompted by an October 2017 executive order President Trump issued to increase choice and competition in the health insurance market.
The administration has already taken other actions in response to the executive order including allowing an expanded use of short-term policies which last less than a year.
In a press release announcing the proposed rule, US Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta said that the action “is about empowering American workers to have more consumer-driven healthcare choices. Health Reimbursement Arrangements can provide another way for employers to help their employees access quality, affordable health coverage.”
In providing details about the rule, the Administration stated that it “promotes individually-selected and portable health insurance coverage.”