We are sharing with you news of a present threat to the current system of tax deductibility of group health insurance premiums. We don’t believe we should lose tax deductibility of group insurance premiums and that is what congress is talking about right now, and we think you will agree. And here’s how you can help. Please read, and take action at the end – see #2 below. It only takes a couple of minutes. Please share this email with others.
Possible Changes to Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance System
At Insurance Solutions NW, Inc we are committed to providing our clients with the information they need to maintain affordable (as much as possible!) insurance thru employee benefits. As such, we would like to share with you a message recently distributed by the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) of which we are a member.
Discussions are taking place in Congress that could result in the undermining of the employer-sponsored health insurance system by eliminating or placing a cap on the employer tax exclusion for health insurance:
NAHU is very concerned about ongoing discussions in Congress that would undermine the employer-sponsored health insurance system by eliminating or placing a cap on theemployer tax exclusion for health insurance. More than 175 million Americans currently receive their coverage through this system, largely due to the tax exclusion where employers provide contributions for an employee’s health insurance that are excluded from that employee’s compensation for income and payroll tax purposes. Eliminating the exclusion would eliminate the incentive for employer-sponsored insurance while capping it would degrade the benefit and serve as a tax increase for middle-class Americans.
The employer-based system is highly efficient at providing American workers and their families with affordable coverage options through group purchasing and its associated economies of scale by spreading risk and avoiding adverse selection. Eliminating the exclusion would eliminate most of the benefits of employer-sponsored insurance, including the means for spreading risk among healthy and unhealthy individuals and group purchasing efficiencies. Capping the exclusion for employees would devalue the benefit and result in a significant tax increase for middle-class Americans, forcing many to drop employer-sponsored insurance, including dependent coverage. Employers would be incentivized to only offer coverage to their employees that would fall below the value of the cap in order to avoid paying any increased taxes, potentially resulting in a race to the bottom for employers to sponsor insurance that wouldn’t meet the cap’s thresholds and further shifting costs onto employees. Many of the inherent problems with the Cadillac/excise tax would exist for eliminating the employer exclusion such as setting a tax credit sufficiently high enough to cover the significant contribution made by employers today. Also, indexing a credit would need to be set to medical inflation if it is to keep up with the typical rise in healthcare expenses.
The employer exclusion tax benefit makes employer-sponsored health insurance a valuable benefit for workers. We urge Congress to maintain the system that has worked for Americans for decades, and preserve employer-sponsored health insurance through the continuation of the employer exclusion because it preserves the employer system for health insurance for the vast majority of Americans. Over the coming weeks, as Congress discusses various healthcare reform proposals, we want to be sure that they hear directly from agents, brokers and employers about the value of the employer tax exclusion. You can help us spread the message by taking action below:
- Contact your senators and representative. Send an Operation Shout today asking your federal legislators to oppose the elimination or cap of the employer tax exclusion of health insurance in any healthcare reform legislative proposals. You can also call your legislators at the numbers below.
- Tell your employer clients to take action. Your employer clients would be most directly impacted by the elimination or cap of the employer tax exclusion. Tell them to take action sharing why the exclusion must be preserved in any healthcare reform legislative proposals.Tell them to take action here.
- Share your story. As a licensed insurance specialist who works closely with employers to help them offer and utilize employer-sponsored health insurance, you know personally about how the employer tax exclusion directly impacts your clients. Stories from your clients will demonstrate the value of the exclusion and the need to preserve it. We will share your stories with appropriate legislators and staff. You can share your story here.
Take action today and tell your federal legislators to keep the employer exclusion tax benefit!