Healthcare Leadership Council Endorses Bipartisan Legislation to Extend Health Insurance Tax Delay for Two Years

Maintaining Health Coverage Affordability Must be Nation’s Priority, Said HLC President

WASHINGTON – A multi-sector alliance of healthcare leaders has endorsed bipartisan Senate legislation that would prevent the health insurance tax, currently suspended until the end of 2019, from being implemented for two additional years.

The Healthcare Leadership Council, comprised of chief executives from the nation’s leading healthcare companies, said it will support the “Health Insurance Tax Relief Act,” introduced by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

The tax, applied to health insurers on the premiums they collect, would result in higher health coverage costs, for tens of millions of consumers and employers.  According to the Oliver Wyman consulting firm, if the tax goes into effect, annual premiums will rise by more than $450 for families in either the large or small group markets.  Individuals in the non-group market would pay nearly $200 more per year.

“This is an unnecessary, counterproductive tax that would make health insurance less affordable for millions of American families,” said HLC president Mary R. Grealy.  “There is much work to be done in this Congress to bring greater stability to the health insurance marketplace and contain healthcare costs through value-focused reforms, but lawmakers must start by preventing the harm that will occur if this tax becomes effective at the end of the year.”

Ms. Grealy said must act expeditiously on this legislation because health insurers will soon be determining their rates for 2020 and will have to factor in the expected costs from this tax if it is not eliminated or suspended.

“We’re very pleased that this effort has such strong bipartisan leadership,” said Ms. Grealy.  “The sponsors of this legislation deserve praise for reaching across the aisle to seek health coverage affordability for patients and consumers.”