Bennet, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Small Businesses Offer Health Insurance to Employees

Working toward Quick Senate Passage following Key House Committee Vote

Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet this week joined a bipartisan group of senators to introduce a bill that would allow small businesses to resume helping their employees buy individual health insurance. The bill creates Health Reimbursement Arrangements, or HRAs, that would make it possible for small businesses to help their employees purchase health insurance by providing monetary contribution for medical expenses including premiums.

"Colorado small businesses are a driving force in our state's economy, and this is a commonsense fix to help them attract talented employees by allowing business owners to help pay for their employees' health insurance," Bennet said. "With the House moving forward on a companion bill, the Senate should quickly pass it to provide much needed relief to small businesses."

The IRS has interpreted the Affordable Care Act as barring small businesses from reimbursing their employees for the cost of buying health insurance on the individual market. This has disrupted a practice that small business owners and their employees used for years, leading to concern from small business owners.

Supporters of the legislation include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association for Towns and Townships, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Federation of Business (NFIB), the Small Business Majority, the National Association for the Self Employed (NASE), the Coalition for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and the National Retail Federation (NRF).