The legislature is considering a bill (HB 6614) that would require employers with 250 or more employees--of which 100 must be in Connecticut--to pay a fee to the state if certain employees, or their dependents, opt-in to the state’s HUSKY A or B program.
It’s a problematic bill for a number of reasons:
- Can’t compete: The HUSKY program is a subsidized state insurance program for low-income individuals. It’s difficult if not impossible for private-sector companies to compete with HUSKY because it’s not only subsidized but very generous in its benefits. Companies that offer health insurance to their employees will have to pay this fee even if even just one employee chooses to avail him- or herself of a government sponsored program.
- Hits many employers: This bill won’t just impact large retail chains but instead will significantly impact many local businesses of different types. According to the 2010 United States Census, Connecticut is home to more than 500 businesses with more than 250 employees--and of those companies, more than 200 are S corps businesses, family businesses, sole proprietorships, partnerships and non-profits.
On top of that, when the state first rolled out HUSKY it reached out to employers and asked them to encourage their lower-income employees to enroll in the new program. Why penalize businesses now for doing just what state asked them to do?
With healthcare costs rising and employers struggling to afford providing benefits for their employees, this proposal makes the situation worse for many Connecticut businesses.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Jennifer Herz at 860.244.1921 or firstname.lastname@example.org.