WIPP's legislative strategy is to have the greatest possible impact for small business owners. We focus on our economic principles and craft a succinct small business message that we bring directly to members of Congress, the White House and Federal Agencies. Your guidance and advocacy efforts together with political reality allows us to move our agenda forward effectively.
The SBA Office of Advocacy research shows that insurers of small business health plans have higher administrative expenses than their larger counterparts. It is no surprise that more than one third of uninsured Americans work in small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, state-based health insurance exchanges will be established for small businesses effective in 2014.
1) Ensure Health Insurance Exchanges Provide More Choices and Better Prices for Small Businesses
Rules and regulations that are adopted by federal and state governments to create and implement health insurance exchanges should be structured to maximize health insurance choices for small businesses. In order for the exchanges to be successful, health insurance premiums for small businesses must fall in line with other segments of the marketplace. Regulators should learn from past exchange successes and failures at the state level.
2) Cost Containment Measures Should Address Increased Healthcare Costs
One of the major drivers behind healthcare reform was the need to control increasing healthcare costs. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, healthcare spending has grown at an average annual rate of 9.6%, 2.4 percentage points faster than nominal GDP since 1970. The federal government projects that by the year 2018, health spending will be one-fifth of the GDP.
Cost containment measures are needed to address increased healthcare costs such as medical malpractice. Furthermore, wellness and preventive care should be a priority of the providers as well as the consumers of healthcare.
The following is a list of legislation that WIPP is actively following:
S. 1188 - Forty Hours is Full Time Act of 2013
H.R. 886 - America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2013
WIPP submitted comments for the record on proposed SHOP delays - 3/1/13
WIPP submitted comments for the record on the "use-or-lose" rule for Flexible Spending Accounts - 9/17/12
HEALTHCARE NEWS & POLICY UPDATES
The following is a list of presentations, statements and letters that WIPP has released:
Healthcare Policy, Trends
and Business Opportunities - 9/26/2013
What's Ahead in Heath Reform – Preparing for the Next 6 Months - 8/2/12
Click here to view PowerPoint Presentation. Click here to hear podcast.
Click here for a Summary of Benefits and Coverage Sample
WIPP sent a letter to Senate leadership in opposition to Amendment 2107 to S. 3187 which expands importation of foreign pharmaceuticals. To read the letter, click here.
Making Exchanges Work for Small Business - 3/22/12.
ADD YOUR VOICE
WELLNESS STRATEGIES FOR THE WORKPLACE
Pfizer Medicine Safety Education Website:
How much do you know about the medicine you are taking? Do you know what information to provide to your doctor? Are there risks associated with the medicine you are taking? Click here to visit a comprehensive medicine safety website which will help you understand your medicines. Click here to see the Pfizer Medicine Safety Education Website logo
The Challenges and Rewards of Promoting Wellness in the Workplace, click here.
Department of Health and Human Services released new Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, a roadmap encouraging individuals to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines. This is based on the fact that regular physical activity over months and years produces long-term health benefits and reduces the risk of many diseases such as early death for adults; coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and depression. As we know, small businesses struggle to afford the rising costs of health insurance premiums. Promoting healthy living for employees directly correlates with long term health costs.
The Physical Activity Guidelines are based on a review of scientific research about physical activity and health. A 13-member advisory committee appointed in April 2007 by Secretary Leavitt reviewed research and produced an extensive report.
Key Guidelines for adults include:
Adults -- Adults gain substantial health benefits from two and one half hours a week of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity, or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity. Walking briskly, water aerobics, ballroom dancing and general gardening are examples of moderate intensity aerobic activities. Vigorous intensity aerobic activities include racewalking, jogging or running, swimming laps, jumping rope and hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes. For more extensive health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to five hours a week moderate-intensity or two and one half hours a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Adults should incorporate muscle strengthening activities, such as weight training, push-ups, sit-ups and carrying heavy loads or heavy gardening, at least two days a week.
Women during pregnancy -- Healthy women should get at least two and one half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week during pregnancy and the time after delivery, preferably spread through the week. Pregnant women who habitually engage in vigorous aerobic activity or who are highly active can continue during pregnancy and the time after delivery, provided they remain healthy and discuss with their health care provider how and when activity should be adjusted over time.
Click to View the Guidelines: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf
As more resources regarding the Affordable Care Act are provided by the federal government as well as the states, WIPP wants to make sure you are aware of all that is available. The resources listed below can also be found on WIPP's healthcare page. Here are three resources important to small businesses:
1. What is Your State Doing To Put a Small Business Marketplace in Place
Following the February 15th deadline for states to file exchange plans with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the state-by-state picture has been finalized. The breakdown of the fifty states and District of Columbia are: 18 states have declared their own exchanges, 7 have partnered with the federal government and 26 states defaulted to the federal exchange. To see what your state decided, click here.
2. SBA Myth vs. Fact blog on the Affordable Care Act and Small Businesses
The SBA just launched a new blog on their website aimed at tackling common misconceptions regarding the Affordable Care Act and small business obligations. The blog can be found here.
3. YouTube on the Affordable Care Act
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at HHS have released a video of the application process for an individual (not a small business) in the health insurance marketplace. You can view that video, and find the comment submission process for review here.
Healthcare: Policy, Trends and Opportunities Regional Series - Sponsored by Pfizer
PowerPoint Presentations from the Raleigh/Durham, NC Event on 4/7/2011
- The New Healthcare Law: Where Small Businesses Fit - Ann Sullivan, WIPP Government Relations
- Trends, Your Key to Opportunity - Sherrie Aycock, All Points Research
Healthy Weight Resource Guide
Fact Sheet: The Affordable Care Act’s New Rules on Preventive Care
HHS website for consumer information on the healthcare law: http://www.healthcare.gov
Calculation of Subsidy by the Kaiser Family Foundation: http://healthreform.kff.org/SubsidyCalculator.aspx
Click here to watch Lisa Gable, the executive director of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, comment on the effects of obesity on families, and the important work the HWCF is doing to address this problem
A Caregiver's Guide to Alzheimer's Disease
"Maybe It's Fibro?" Treatment and Management article
Check out these websites:
· Business Owners Can Take Lead Role in Smoking Cessation, click here.
· Switching Medications: Cost-effective for insurers or risky for patients – or both? Click here.
· Fibromyalgia: Chronic Pain That Packs a Punch to You and Your Employee <click here>
· Pfizer Helpful Answers, assistance for the uninsured: http://www.pfizerhelpfulanswers.com/
· Smarxt Disposal: this is a campaign called SMARxT DISPOSAL, sponsored by PhRMA, (the American Pharmacists Association), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, introduced a campaign called SMARxT DISPOSAL which gives tips for methods of proper disposal of unused or expired pharmaceuticals. You can visit the campaign's website at http://www.smarxtdisposal.net/