Oregon Assessment on Employers

A bill recently was introduced in the Oregon legislature that would impose a penalty on employers that offer health insurance coverage to employees, but have employees working at least 20 hours per week that receive health care coverage through the State’s medical assistance program. The stated purpose of Senate Bill 997 is that employers who do not provide coverage to low-wage workers who are covered by State medical assistance “shift the cost of health care coverage from the employer to the taxpayer.”

Under the proposal, a “covered employee” is someone who:

  • Is 18-64 years old;
  • Works at least 20 hours per week for an employer that offers health coverage to its employees; and
  • Is enrolled in medical assistance on the basis of income and not for a disability or being over 65

To be subject to the penalty, an employer must have an average of at least 50 full-time employees on business days during the prior calendar year.

ERIC will connect with relevant organizations in Oregon that are interested in weighing-in on this piece of legislation.

Article by Adam Greathouse, Health Policy Associate