The Save American Workers Act is a Bill Authored by Rep. Todd Young that would change the definition of a full-time employee under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The current definition states that any employee working more than 30 hours a week qualifies for employer sponsored group health benefits. Also under the ACA is the employer mandate that penalizes employers for not providing coverage. This too is based on the 30 hours a week.
The Save American Workers Act would increase the hours that are considered full time from 30-40 hours.
This bill has already passed the house of representative 252 to 172. If the bill does go through, it will have huge impact on Indiana and the rest of the country.
Here in Indiana, a lot of employees have lost work hours. The companies that they work for are trying to budget the employer mandate or reduced health insurance costs. It’s easy for people to put blame on the employers for not insuring their employees. This is very difficult for certain industries that are unable to cover the health care cost of their employees. Then, add in the $2,000 penalty per employee under the Employer Mandate,, and it leads to less hours for the employee.
What is the positive side to the bill the passing?
The employees that are not found eligible for group benefits will be able to get coverage on the health insurance exchanges. They will also be eligible for reduced premiums through tax credits. The employers will be able to give the employees more hours of work without taking on additional costs.
What is the Negatives?
This may add $53 Billion to the federal deficit in the next 10 years. There will be employees that do not qualify for assistance on the exchanges and who do not qualify for employer sponsored health plans that will not be able to afford the individual premium.
My view as a broker:
If the Save American Workers Act gets passed, certain industries will be able to survive with their current business models. Any industry that has hourly wage employees is going to benefit from this act. Most of those hourly wage employees are going to benefit from tax credits on the exchange. This is a further step to the erosion of the employer sponsored health plan.