GA Senate Weighs New Health Insurance Mandates

Date: March 17, 2014

Unfortunately the challenges facing small employers in finding affordable health insurance have fallen on deaf ears in the Georgia Senate.  

By the time midnight strikes on Thursday, the Senate will have likely voted to add a new health insurance mandate aimed squarely at small employers no less than three times.  

“NFIB has long-opposed new mandates. as they unfairly target small employers and their employees, and we will continue to do so through the end of this session,” said Kyle Jackson, state director of NFIB/Georgia, the state’s largest small-business association.

These mandate bills are still very much under consideration:

Senate Bill 397 (Sen. Tim Golden) is being pushed by advocates who want greater access and coverage for applied behavioral therapy as part of treatment for autism. The treatment is very expensive and instead of giving small employers the option to cover it, the bill would require all insurance plans for businesses with 10 or more employees to cover the care.
House Bill 943 (Rep. Lee Hawkins) originally would have mandated equal coverage and treatment of chemotherapy drugs. Today, intravenous drugs are covered while oral medications are typically not. Additionally the language of SB 397 has been added on to the bill as the Senate’s way of trying to force a vote on an anti-small business provision.
House Bill 885 (Rep. Allen Peake), commonly referred to as the “medicinal marijuana” bill would open up and decriminalize use and possession of cannabis  oil for treatment of children and adults with seizure disorders. NFIB had no position on the original bill, but then the Senate added the same harmful language from SB 397 to unfairly target and penalize small employers with a new mandate.
NFIB opposes all three measures as written.
“All three bills will likely come down to last-minute negotiations between the House and Senate,” Jackson said. 

Related Content: Small Business News | Georgia

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