Recently introduced House legislation addresses one of farmers and ranchers’ major concerns related to health insurance—cost.
The Health Insurance Premium Reduction Act (H.R. 5963) would protect farmers, ranchers and other small business owners from exorbitant health care costs by delaying the health insurance tax (HIT) until after 2020, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
The HIT has increased health insurance costs by imposing a levy on the net premiums of health insurance companies, which is passed on to consumers. During 2014, $8 billion of excise taxes were levied, and $11 billion was collected in 2015 and 2016 each.
The tax is on hold through 2019, but since the cost of the HIT increases each year, Americans will face an even higher HIT impact in 2020, AFBF President Zippy Duvall noted in a letter urging House members to support the measure.
“This delay is needed to provide stability to small business owners and middle-income families so they can continue health care coverage,” Duvall wrote.
The Health Insurance Premium Reduction Act was introduced by Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Ami Bera (D-Calif.).