Posted by: danielrashke | October 20, 2009

The Senate Finance Committee Bill is Released

The healthcare reform bill from the Senate Finance Committee has been released.  (You can find a link to the entire bill on the TASC Healthcare Reform Watch page.)  The bill is 1,500 pages long and for the most part is pretty much what we expected.  However, there are a couple of twists.

  1. The bill calls for creation of a SIMPLE Cafeteria Plan (Pages 371-374 of the bill).  Much like the SIMPLE Plans in the retirement world, this would ease the non-discrimination requirements small employers face when implementing a Cafeteria Plan.
  2. There appears to be a push amongst a handful of Senators to raise and index the proposed cap on total benefits an employee can receive (Page 337 of the Committee Report).  Their proposal would index the cap tied to the Consumer Price Index plus 1 percent.  These Senators are also talking about bumping up the cap for employees 55 years or older.  This proposal would increase the cap for older employees by $1,850 a year for single employees and $5,000 a year for families.

TASC sees both proposals as positive.  Too often poorly-designed non-discrimination requirements have discouraged small employers from using these Plans.  Anything that can ease these regulations will increase acceptance, which ultimately will benefit employees.

This is a first, quick look at a very extensive document.  We will take a step back and review this material more closely.  Watch for more updates soon.


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