The Associated Industries of Massachusetts was just informed that the US Health and Human Services Department will not continue a waiver program for Massachusetts small businesses regarding Obamacare. They have threatened to sue the federal government on behalf of small business in Massachusetts. You can read about it on their blog.
Associated Industries of Massachusetts is gravely disappointed with the decision and will now consider other remedies to help employers, including legal action or supporting legislation to de-merge the insurance market for individuals and small companies.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius issued the denial in a letter to Governor Deval Patrick, who sought a waiver on September 3 from rating-factor limitations imposed by federal health reform for insurance offered to employers with 50 or fewer workers. AIM similarly urged Sebelius in a letter in July to allow Massachusetts to maintain its current nine rating factors for small employers, and to maintain its practice of filing rates quarterly, rather than annually.
Rejection of the waiver came despite last-minute letters of support to Sebelius from U.S. Representatives John Tierney, Michael Capuano, Stephen Lynch and William Keating.
Sebelius argued in her letter that the federal government has already granted Massachusetts a three-year transition to the new rating factor system.
“As a result of your leadership and dedication to this issue, we continue to explore any possible option regarding your request; however, we are unable to grant a permanent waiver from these rating rules. For policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, issuers must be in full compliance with the rating rules under section 2701 of the Public Health Service Act,” Sebelius wrote to Patrick.
Lets hope they sue.