Topeka A Republican legislator on Monday said his bill allowing small business owners to offer workers money to buy their own health insurance will increase the number of people with insurance coverage.
State Rep. Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe, said he proposed House Bill 2682 because many small businesses are dropping their group policies because the price is too high and businesses are trying to reduce expenses in the current struggling economy.
His bill would allow employers to pay employees a certain amount so that those workers could buy their own plans. The bill would allow a deduction in Kansas adjusted gross income in the amount paid for health insurance premiums.
But Linda Sheppard, with the Kansas Department of Insurance said the bill will actually cause more people to be uninsured.
It will create an incentive for small businesses to drop group plans, throwing many older and less healthy employees into a an insurance market that will either deny them coverage or charge extremely high rates, she said.
“Our concern is you will increase potential coverage for some at the expense of others. Some will gain and some will lose,” Sheppard said.
The Kansas Department of Revenue said the legislation would reduce state revenue by about $108.6 million in the next fiscal year.
The House Taxation Committee took no action on the bill.