DearColleague.us

Letter

 

From: The Honorable Gary C. Peters
Sent By:
cece.grant@mail.house.gov

Date: 2/28/2014

Become an Original Cosponsor of the Small Business Health Insurance Affordability Act of 2014
Dear Colleague:
While millions of Americans are signing up for affordable health care coverage for the first time, many are calling our offices expressing concerns about the cost of the plans for certain groups.
Over the past 10 years, employer contributions to health care premiums have almost doubled – from $6,600 to $11,700 annually. This has contributed to the decision by many employers to cease offering this vital benefit to their workers. The Small Business
Health Care Tax Credit is an important tool aimed at making premiums more affordable for small businesses. Unfortunately, this tool has been greatly underutilized.
According to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service, less than 4 percent of potentially eligible small businesses actually claimed the credit. Further, only 17 percent of these were eligible for the full credit, primarily because the wage
limits were set too low. Finally, the complicated process for calculating the credit has discouraged many businesses from applying.
That is why I am introducing the Small Business Health Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. This legislation would increase and streamline the health care tax credits to encourage more businesses to cover their workers, while lowering costs for both workers
and employers. Specifically, the bill would:
  1. Raise the maximum average salary to qualify for the credits from $50,000 to $70,000;
  2. Raise the maximum size of businesses eligible for the tax credits from 25 to 50 employees,
  3. Extend the number of years the credit is available from two to three years;
  4. Make the credit available both on and off the Marketplace as long as the purchased plan is ACA compliant;
  5. Simplify and streamline the process for applying for the tax credit by reducing paperwork and complicated calculations.
At a time when many small businesses are struggling to compete and grow in a global economy, it is important that we ensure quality health care is affordable for small business owners and their employees. This bill would simplify the process of applying
for tax credits, allowing our entrepreneurs to focus on what they do best – serving their customers and creating jobs.
HHS recently
announced
that retroactive tax credits will be available on or off the Marketplace in states that are still experiencing problems with their Exchanges, as long as the plans are ACA compliant. This is a positive step forward, but this flexibility should
be available to small businesses in every state to help ensure that more Americans are able to access these critical tax credits that make quality health coverage more affordable.
We hope you agree and will consider becoming an original cosponsor of this important bill. For more information or to cosponsor, contact CeCe Grant at
cece.grant@mail.house.gov or 225-5802.
Sincerely,
Gary C. Peters
Member of Congress