Could Direct Primary Care Become Law in 2017?

Date: March 15, 2017


Direct primary care legislation will again head to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s desk.

Under House Bill 2053, direct primary agreements would be codified, giving doctors the ability to charge monthly fees to patients for an agreed-upon package of services. The measure also makes it clear that this arrangement is not insurance and therefore not subject to Virginia’s insurance laws. A similar measure passed the Legislature and was sent to McAuliffe in 2016 as well, but unfortunately the governor vetoed it.

Small business owners are hoping for a different outcome this year. As costs have continued to rise, it becomes more important for a solution that offers relief. In a story about a rally for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Richmond, where Sen. Tim Kaine spoke, CBS Local News 6 included perspective from NFIB/VA State Director Nicole Riley, who said that the majority of the 6,600 NFIB/VA members feel the ACA is a “very expensive burden.”

“They all saw double-digit premium increases,” Riley told CBS. “They obviously work on much smaller margins than big businesses do, and they don’t have the volume of employees to self-insure.”

Riley added that small businesses want to hire new employees but can’t afford to go over the 50-employee minimum, at which point they’d be mandated to offer employer-sponsored health coverage or be penalized.

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