WASHINGTON — Retail groups last week said they favored an amendment to the Senate health care bill that would extend the waiting period before employers would be required to provide health care insurance for workers.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Senate's version of health care reform, originally imposed penalties on companies that did not provide insurance for workers within 90 days of employment. However, employers would have to pay a pentalty of $400 for an uncovered worker after 30 days and a $600 penalty for having an uninsured worker on the payroll within 60 days of hire. But an amendement introduced last week by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., would eliminate those penalties.
“Senator Landrieu's amendment provides greater flexibility to employers - especially retailers - to manage their workforce needs in a tough economy,” said Neil Trautwein. vice president, National Retail Federation, in a prepared statement.
The penalties are a concern for retailers because of their high turnover rates high percentage of seasonal workers, NRF said.
The Landrieu amendment is co-sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and Mark Warner, D-Va.
“We greatly appreciate the care and attention of these senators to the question of how retailers would manage health benefits after enactment of this legislation,” Trautwein said.