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December 26, 2013

Call for HIT Repeal Grows

For more information on Newsline, contact: Cyndie Sirekis, Director, News Services, American Farm Bureau Federation, cyndies@fb.org.

With the new year will come a new tax. Farmers, ranchers and many other small business owners are anxious for Congress to repeal the health insurance tax, known as HIT, before it hits them. American Farm Bureau tax specialist explains the situation in this story from AFBF’s Johnna Miller.
Miller:When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act they needed a way to pay for it. So they created some new taxes. One of them is the Health Insurance Tax – known as HIT.
Wolff:It’s a tax on the premiums that health insurance companies collect. That tax is set to kick in January 1 of 2014 and the rates for health insurance next year are rising to pay that tax. The average HIT for each family will be about a $500 increase in premiums, due to this new tax.
Miller:American Farm Bureau tax specialist Pat Wolfe points out that most farmers and ranchers have to purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company whose premiums determine how much HIT an insurance company must pay. Those companies are passing that cost to the small businesses that purchase those plans.
Wolff:The only remedy for the problem is for Congress to repeal this tax and there’s legislation proposed to do that. In fact several of the bills that have been introduced would not only repeal the tax going forward, but would require insurance companies to rebate or give back the amount of premium increase that was caused by the tax.
Miller:Wolfe says repeal actually has a lot of support in Congress.
Wolff:Congress isn't passing bills now. They’re stuck and haven’t passed a major bill in a long time now and so getting action on anything, no matter how much support there is, is difficult.
Miller:Johnna Miller, Washington.

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