Va. Gov. Kaine Signs Small Business Insurance Purchasing Bill

June 20, 2006

Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine has signed a General Assembly bill that allows small businesses to collectively purchase health insurance, which supportershope will help address health care concerns within the state’s small business community.

House Bill 761 authorizes small businesses, defined as those with fewer than 50 employees, to join together to purchase health insurance coverage for their employees. The legislation also allows small businesses that currently have a coverage plan to increase health insurance options for their employees.

“Small to mid-sized businesses are a cornerstone of Virginia’s economic success,” Governor Kaine said. “This bill allows creative options to help small businesses confront this problem effectively. We believe this overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation is an important step forward in addressing health care concerns in the Commonwealth in a practical way.”

Kaine said the legislation is consistent with other federal and state statutes related to small group market issues. It allows businesses to have flexibility in how they form purchasing pools, either by establishing one person or entity to be responsible for collection and payment of premiums, or by allowing each company to take responsibility for its own policy. The savings potential of this health insurance pooling depends on the size, composition and administration of the pool.

Kaine was joined at the signing by the owner and staff of Rostov’s Coffee and Tea, a small business located in downtown Richmond, and the bipartisan General Assembly sponsors of the measure, including Delegates Phil Hamilton, Rosalyn Dance, Jeff Frederick, Ken Melvin, and Harvey Morgan.

The legislation is a result of a year-long study of the healthcare challenges facing small businesses, which was led by Governor Kaine when he served as Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor.

Source: Gov. Kaine’s Office

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