Another Fix to the Affordable Care Act Signed into Law

Legislation Protects Small Businesses from Increases in Health Insurance Premiums

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski released the following statement on the President signing the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act into law. Senator Murkowski is a co-sponsor of the bill, which halts a change of what is considered “small employer” within the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Currently, a “small employer” is defined having less than 50 employees. However, a provision in the law was set to redefine a small employer as having up to 100 employees, beginning on January 1, 2016. The PACE Act prevents this change from occurring. It also restores authority the states had before the ACA to define a “small employer” in a way that works best for their state.

“The far-from-Affordable Care Act continues to place a financial burden on Alaskans, from increases in premiums to hidden costly taxes. I’ve opposed the ACA from day one because it was never designed to work in a rural state like Alaska,” said Senator Murkowski. “I am thankful that my colleagues and I were able to work together to fix another one of the shortcomings of this unworkable policy. I will continue to work to reform the ACA and control the price of healthcare for Alaskans.”

If the definition of small employer had expanded, approximately 207 Alaskan businesses and over 10,000 employees would have been affected. It is also estimated that premiums would have increased by 18-23% for approximately 2/3 of the newly defined small employees.