Written by: Stephen Vagus | Live Insurance News
Written on: March 19, 2013
Small businesses have a problem with DC health insurance exchange
Plans for a health insurance exchange in Washington D.C. has been facing some challenges in recent months, many of which are coming from small businesses. This week, the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority reiterated that it was committed to establishing a working health insurance exchange for Washington D.C., noting that small businesses would be forced to purchase coverage from the exchange program. The committee did, however, announce that it would be working to delay the mandate requiring these small businesses to purchase their coverage.
Exchange board considering delaying requirements on small businesses
Under current law, all small businesses in Washington D.C. must purchase coverage through the region’s health insurance exchange when open enrollment begins in October of this year. Small businesses have been somewhat opposed to this mandate due to concerns regarding the costs associated with the exchange system. While Washington D.C. is a special legislative district, it must still cover the costs of its health insurance exchange without relying entirely on federal assistance. This typically means that a surcharge must be levied on all policies sold through the exchange.
Some small businesses may not be required to participate in exchange until 2016
The D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority has taken note of the concerns that small businesses have and is currently considering delaying their mandatory inclusion into the health insurance exchange. If the committee decides to delay the mandate, a number of small businesses will not be forced to purchase coverage through the health insurance exchange until 2015. Some may not be forced to purchase coverage through the exchange until 2016.
Health insurance continues to cause strife throughout the US
Health insurance continues to be a problematic subject throughout much of the U.S. While lawmakers in Washington D.C. are eager to comply with the Affordable Care Act, they are also working to address the issues that small businesses have with the concept of an exchange. Many small businesses in Washington D.C. do not currently offer health insurance coverage to their employees, so being forced to do so by law is linked to major financial concerns for these companies.