State and local business leaders called on Congress to delay the Health Insurance Tax, or HIT, at a roundtable meeting today in Jeffersontown. The discussion included representatives from Louisville, Jeffersontown and Crestwood, among others. Attendees expressed concerns about the impact of the HIT on Kentucky small business, if the tax is not delayed next year.
Denise Spalding, President of Allegra Marketing, stated, “The concern among so many business owners is the continuing upward spiral in healthcare costs, and the effect those costs have on families.”
Roy Mattingly, VP at BB&T Insurance Services, echoed that sentiment, “Small businesses are weakening due to the draconian costs they are facing. Congress was wise to suspend the HIT in the last round, and we’re hoping that they will do that again.”
The HIT is a federal tax on health insurance plans purchased by small business owners, the self-employed, and workers who receive their health care coverage through an employer. Without action by Congress to delay the tax, the HIT is expected to increase premiums nationwide by $14.3 billion next year, when the tax goes into effect in January. A recent study by Oliver Wyman shows that families in the small employer market could be faced with $500 on average in higher premiums in 2018 as a result of the HIT.
The HIT has also been estimated to impact 156 million Americans, with 50% of those paying the HIT earning an income between $10,000 and $50,000. “It’s devastating to small business and their employees,” said Ms. Spalding.
Kentucky is home to more than 340,000 small businesses, which employ more than 680,000 private sector workers. According to research by the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation, the HIT will jeopardize between 152,000 to 286,000 private-sector jobs across the U.S. by 2023, and reduce real GDP by as much as $20 billion to $33 billion over the same period.
The Stop The HIT Coalition represents the nation’s small business owners, their employees and the self-employed who are actively working to repeal the Health Insurance Tax. Since the Coalition’s formation in 2011, it has grown to include more than 35 national organizations, representing millions of small business owners across the country. For more information, please visit www.StopTheHIT.com.