On Friday, January 5, 2018, the United States Department of Labor proposed a rule that provides several key benefits for small businesses. Created in response to the current administration’s initiative to help small businesses in healthcare marketplaces (Executive Order 13813), it provides three benefits to “small” employers. Small employers includes businesses with 99 or fewer employees. First, small employers would be permitted to combine on the basis of new “commonality of interest” factors, to become one “employer.” If small businesses combine, they may take advantage of more favorable group health insurance rates. These factors include geography and common industry.
If enacted, the new rule allows a plan to serve employers in a particular state, city, county, or a multi-state metro area, or a particular industry. Second, sole proprietors would now be eligible to participate in the employer health care marketplace, as members of these new “Association Health Plans.” Finally, the proposed Regulation expressly prohibits insurers from charging individuals higher premiums based on health factors and refusing to admit employees to a plan because of health factors. Be sure to check out the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration Proposed Regulation at:
Please feel free to contact PSB Law Firm with questions about employment law for small businesses, at (303) 622-3883.