H.R. 1624, a bill that wouldchange a small-group definition provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act(PPACA), sailed through the Senate last Thursday.

|

Members of the Senate approved the Protecting AffordableCoverage for Employees (PACE) Act bill by a voice vote.

|

The House approved the bill by a voice vote Monday.

|

Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., the lawmaker who introduced thebill, attracted 48 Democratic cosponsors for the bill in theHouse.

|

The White House has not yet said whether President Obama willsign the law.

|

A strong PPACA supporter, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., inserted astatement into the Congressional Record after the House voteindicating that he agrees on the need for group definition fix butwould prefer to see lawmakers come up with a temporary fix, ratherthan a permanent change in PPACA.

|

Read: Democrat proposes PPACA small-group definitionalternatives

|

Some states have traditionally set the small-group cut-off at 50employees, and some at 100.

|

Drafters of PPACA included a provision requiringall states to set the cut-off at 100 employees, in an effort tohave PPACA small-group rules, including minimum benefitsrequirements and rate review requirements, apply to groups with 50to 100 employees as well as to smaller employees.

|

Defenders of the provision, including Mike Kreidler, theWashington state insurance commissioner, say the employees in thebig small groups ought to have the kinds of protections thatprovide for employees in smaller groups.

|

Read: PPACA drives record increase in health carejobs

|

Opponents, including the National Association of InsuranceCommissioners (NAIC) and the National Association of HealthUnderwriters (NAHU), say requiring states to change theirdefinitions could cause chaos in the small group market in somestates.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Allison Bell

Allison Bell, ThinkAdvisor's insurance editor, previously was LifeHealthPro's health insurance editor. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Think_Allison.