The Small Business Healthcare Relief Act (HR 5447) was recently passed within the U.S. House of Representatives, paving the way for possible approval in the Senate. If passed into law, the bill would make it easier for small businesses to reimburse employees for premiums for individual insurance plans.
The bill is now awaiting action in the Senate (as S 3060), where it has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee. The bill currently has the following co-sponsors: Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Corey Gardner (R-CO), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jon Tester (D-MT), David Vitter (R-LA) and Mark Warner (D-VA).
As announced by the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), the Council for Affordable Health Coverage has set up a website which will allow users to send a message to their Senator in support of the bill. The Small Business Legislative Council—of which PIDA is a member—is also continuing its efforts to get the bill passed so that small businesses can continue to reimburse employees for some or all of their premiums for individual insurance on a pre-tax basis.