Nashua, NH — New Hampshire small business leaders met at the offices of The Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce to discuss the impact of the 2020 health insurance tax (HIT).
This tax affects small businesses, their employees, farmers, seniors on Medicare, non-profit organizations, and middle-income families. Small business leaders expressed concerns about the impact of the HIT if the tax is not delayed immediately.
Tracy Hall, President & CEO of the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce said, “Small businesses make up the overwhelming majority of employers in our state and within our Chamber membership. Adding the HIT back on top of already rising health care premiums will force those businesses who do not self-insure to choose between providing benefits or investing in their employees and businesses. Here at the Chamber, we have 4 full time and 2 part time employees, and we have always provided full time employees with health benefits. Unfortunately we have seen our premiums increase in the last 10 years, anywhere from 25% to 125% each year. Suspending the HIT is essential to us.”
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 immediately to delay the tax for 2020, New Hampshire small business owners and seniors on Medicare will be hit with higher health insurance premiums as they renew their coverage next year.
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire recently introduced the “Healthcare Insurance Tax Relief Act,” a bi-partisan bill in the U.S. Senate that would delay implementation of the HIT tax for 2020 and 2021. The effort to prevent a tax hike in the form of the HIT has been a top priority for small businesses and the employer community, from the hospitality industry to the agricultural sector. U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan has joined Senator Shaheen as a co-sponsor on the bill.
In addition, U.S. Congresswoman Annie Kuster and U.S Congressman Chris Pappas have recently joined as co-sponsors of the “Health Insurance Tax Relief Act,” a similar bi-partisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House that would delay implementation of the HIT tax for 2020 and 2021.
“The health insurance tax also impacts non-profit organizations. For us at the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter it would cost us an additional sixty-five hundred dollars a year. To put that in perspective, that’s about one month of food and supplies we would otherwise be able to purchase to serve those in need.” Said Erika Cross MacDonald, the Director of Finance & Administration for Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter, Inc.
If Congress does not suspend this tax in 2020, New Hampshire small business owners and seniors on Medicare will be hit with higher health insurance premiums totaling $55 million as they renew their coverage next year.
New Hampshire is home to more than 130,930 small businesses, which employ more than 285,700 New Hampshire workers. A study by Oliver Wyman shows that New Hampshire families in the small employer market could be faced with $448 on average in higher premiums in 2020 as a result of the HIT. Absent Congressional action to delay the HIT, this tax is estimated to disproportionately impact 142 million Americans, particularly those earning an income between $10,000 and $50,000.