Presque Isle, ME – Maine small business leaders met today at Governor’s Restaurant in Presque Isle to discuss the impact of the 2020 health insurance tax, or HIT, on small businesses, their employees, seniors on Medicare and middle-income families. Small businesses leaders expressed concerns about the impact of the HIT on Maine small businesses, their employees and the self-employed if the tax is not delayed by the end of this year.
“Uncertainty in any part of our business is a drag on future growth. Suspending the HIT tax for 2020 provides small businesses with the certainty we need in order to invest in our employees and future growth, rather than facing what amounts to be approximately a $400 penalty on every one of our employees,” said John Herweh, Vice-President of MMG Insurance. “Delaying the HIT tax for 2020 is one thing Congress can do to help small businesses in Maine who are already struggling with higher costs.”
The HIT is a federal sales tax on health insurance plans purchased by small business owners, the self-employed, and workers who receive their health care coverage through an employer. Without action by Congress this year to delay the tax for 2020, Maine small business owners and seniors on Medicare will be hit with higher health insurance premiums as they renew their coverage next year.
“We face new obstacles every day as small business owners. Another $400 increase in employee costs, per employee, can be the difference between hiring or not,” said Mike Nadeau, owner of Mike Nadeau and Sons. “By delaying the HIT, we can grow and add new employees that invest in our local economy. Delaying the HIT just makes sense.”
Maine is home to more than 142,1800 small businesses, which employ more than 278,950 Maine workers. A study by Oliver Wyman shows that Maine families in the small employer market could be faced with $386 on average in higher premiums in 2020 as a result of the HIT. The tax is estimated to disproportionately impact 142 million Americans, particularly those earning an income between $10,000 and $50,000.
The Stop The HIT Coalition represents the nation’s small business owners, their employees and the self-employed who are actively working to repeal the Health Insurance Tax. Since the Coalition’s formation in 2011, it has grown to include more than 35 national organizations, representing millions of small business owners across the country. For more information, please visit www.StopTheHIT.com.