March 27, 2015




(Washington, DC) – This week, U.S. Reps. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley, Calif.), a member of the House Subcommittee on Health (Energy and Commerce Committee) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in introducing legislation to update the definition of the small group market under Obamacare in order to protect smaller employers from increased regulations.

Currently, the small group market is defined as 1-50 employees, however beginning January 1, 2016, that number will change to 1-100 employees.  In doing so, employers with 51-100 employees will not be able to keep their current health care plans or purchase or renew plans that do not conform to the new regulations.  By being subject to the new regulations, it is anticipated that their rates will dramatically increase.

H.R. 1624, the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act will prevent these catastrophic scenarios by maintaining that small group markets remain defined as 1-50 employees.

"The most important thing we can do to protect the health of the American people is to make certain that the Affordable Care Act continues to slow health care cost increases, and leads to more coverage, not less," said Cárdenas.  "I am pleased that Rep. Guthrie was willing to join me in this effort, to make certain that we protect the employees of small businesses in Kentucky, in California and throughout the country, who are satisfied with the coverage and cost of plans offered by their employers."

“If this policy is not changed before January, employees will see increased premiums and a disruption in their coverage,” said Guthrie, Vice Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee.  “With these new requirements, many could be forced to lose their current coverage.  Expanding the small group marketplace limits choice and promotes instability in the insurance market.  Our bill would address this head-on by allowing these employees to continue to have access to their current health care coverage.”

“As a business owner, I understand the value of providing health coverage to employees,” said U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK).  “But I also understand the damage caused by a spike in premiums.  This practical legislation protects job creators and hardworking Americans while respecting states’ rights to determine their small group markets.”

“When I talk to Arizonans and employers in Arizona about health care, the concern I hear most is increasing cost,” said U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).  “This bipartisan solution lowers costs, increases coverage options and ensures employees are able to keep their current coverage.  I’m committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this legislation and provide relief for Arizona workers and employers while increasing access to quality affordable health care.”