The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

July 5, 2013

Minn. companies applaud delay in health care rule

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Obama administration's decision to delay a health care obligation for employers until 2015 is a relief for some Minnesota companies that welcome the extra time to understand the new law and its options.

The delayed provision would penalize employers with at least 50 full-time workers if they don't offer their employees insurance coverage. Now they'll have an extra year to decide whether to offer coverage or pay thousands of dollars in penalties, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported (http://bit.ly/19XnM3O ).

In Minnesota, business leaders cheered the delay even as policy experts downplayed its impact on the state's health insurance market.

"Obviously, there's relief because this was not a realistic goal," said Kate Johansen, director for health policy at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. "That said, it still remains a problem because it's slated to go into effect a year later."

The postponement won't affect a huge number of companies. The Kaiser Family Foundation says 98 percent of U.S. companies with more than 200 employees already provide health insurance, as do 94 percent of those that have 50 to 199 employees.

"Employers try to offer these benefits to stay competitive in the workforce market, and, secondly, they do it to satisfy a social contract that they have with those employees," said Stefan Gildemeister, a state health economist at the Minnesota Department of Health. "Those two dynamics are probably not affected by this delay."

The new health law imposes penalties of $2,000 to $3,000 per full-time employee for companies that don't provide affordable coverage. The total penalty would depend on the number of full-time workers at the company.

By postponing implementation of that aspect of the law, does that mean employers will have an incentive not to offer health insurance for another year? Probably not, said April Todd-Malmlov, executive director of Minnesota's health insurance exchange.

"Employers offer coverage because they need to attract a good workforce, and that's not going to change going into the future," she said. "There could be a small impact but I really don't anticipate it will be anything substantial."

------

Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • sniper wife pic Jurors start considering Ventura case ST. PAUL — An attorney for Jesse Ventura asked a federal jury Tuesday to award the former Minnesota governor millions of dollars in damages for what he claimed is a lie in a memoir by the late military sniper Chris Kyle. Ventura testified during the

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Target debuts shopping app "In a Snap" will recognize images

    July 22, 2014

  • Feds to monitor Newark police Probe found pattern of unconstitutional policing

    July 22, 2014

  • Thousands without power due to storms MCGREGOR (AP) — Thousands of Minnesotans are without electricity after powerful storms moved through central and northeastern Minnesota. Strong winds of 50 to 70 mph knocked down trees and power lines overnight Monday. Minnesota Power and Lake Count

    July 22, 2014

  • Ellison urges Minn. to aid Central American minors ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota congressman is leading efforts to bring more unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the state. But, immigration advocates and nonprofit groups that serve refugees are concerned Minnesota might not be abl

    July 22, 2014

  • Detroit retirees back pension cuts by a landslide DETROIT (AP) — A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial that could end the largest

    July 22, 2014

  • Closings set in Ventura's suit over sniper's book ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Closing arguments are set in former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle. The case is expected to go to the federal jury in St. Paul after lawyers for both

    July 22, 2014

  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel. Israel calls them the lone soldiers: They are men and women in the prime of their live

    July 22, 2014

  • 9 TC Rainbow stores to close Supermarkets to lose in Cottage Grove, Shoreview, Inver Grove Heights, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove and Savage

    July 21, 2014

  • Accelerants fuel fire; 2 rescued ST. PAUL — Two brothers were rescued from the upper floor of a St. Paul duplex in a fire that was fueled by cylinders of gas, oxygen and other accelerants. Authorities say the two were taken to Regions Hospital where one man is in critical condition

    July 21, 2014