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Bill Would Exempt Eligible Long-Term Care Providers from ACA Employer Mandate

July 24, 2014

Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced a bill on July 14 that would exempt for two years some long-term care providers from offering employer-sponsored insurance coverage to their employees — primarily direct-care workers — as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Under the ACA, employers with 50 or more full-time workers are mandated to offer health coverage or face penalties, beginning January 1, 2015. The employer mandate was already delayed a full year last July.

If the “Ensuring Medicaid and Medicare Access to Providers Act” is passed, long-term care providers whose Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements “equals or exceeds 60 percent of the total gross receipts of such employer” during a specific timeframe would have two more years before they will be required to offer health coverage.

Since publicly funded health coverage reimburses providers at a lower rate than private plans, employers who provide long-term care to primarily Medicare and Medicaid consumers are “under extra financial pressures,” said Daines, according to an article in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

Daines has been an opponent of the ACA.

Of all direct-care workers in the nation, 28 percent lack health insurance coverage, according to the PHI State Data Center.

— by Deane Beebe

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