As many people know, businesses with more than 50 employees will need to offer affordable insurance to their workers or potentially pay a penalty. The fee is then used to offset some of the costs of providing those employees tax subsidies in the new health benefit exchanges. Many people do not realize, however, that businesses in states that do not expand Medicaid will face steeper penalties than companies in states that expand Medicaid.
The reason for this discrepancy is that a business only faces penalties when their employees get subsidies in the exchange. If a company does not offer affordable health insurance, but its employees qualify for Medicaid, the employer does not get penalized. Also, in states that do not expand Medicaid the subsidies will reach down to people earning 100 percent of federal poverty level. That means more people will get subsidies and more businesses will get penalized.
We’ve known all of this. Until now, however, no organization had quantified how much more in penalties employers might face. Now the tax services company Jackson Hewitt has released an analysis saying the amount of additional employer fees for North Carolina ranges between $65 million and $98 million.
This is just another reason why blocking Medicaid expansion and sending our federal funds to other states is a bad idea.