A recently introduced Senate bill to delay the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance tax will help lower insurance costs for farmers, ranchers and other small business owners, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The Small Business and Family Health Tax Relief Act of 2017 (S. 1978) would provide an additional two years of relief from the HIT, which is on hold only through the end of this year.
A report released in August estimates the HIT will force families purchasing coverage in the small group market to pay an additional $500 on average in premium costs next year.
“The bill addresses one of the major concerns that farmers and ranchers have related to health insurance – cost. The health insurance tax has increased health insurance costs for farmers, ranchers and other small businesses by imposing a levy on the net premiums of health insurance companies, which is passed on to consumers,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall wrote in a letter to the bill’s original sponsors, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).
Another Farm Bureau-supported Senate bill, the Healthcare Tax Relief Act (S. 1859), would delay the HIT for one year.